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Going Green in 2014? Helpful household tips to start the New Year off right

(NC) The New Year means creating resolutions for a fresh start to the year ahead. Going green is a popular resolution as it's a great way to save money and help the environment by reducing waste. It can be accomplished relatively quickly with immediate results that will last for years. Remember that going green doesn't need to put you in the red.

An important and easy first-step is researching simple tips and solutions around the house that match your needs and budget. Some simple tips include:

• Insulation and Windows: Insulate your pipes for the cold winter months to conserve energy and reduce heat loss to help save money. Also insulate drafty windows using window insulation film and rubber weather sealing to prevent heat loss and cold air coming into your home. Even having heavier curtains is an effective way to keep cold air out.

• Reduce water consumption: Taking shorter showers is the best way to reduce wasteful water consumption. Also consider washing your clothes in cold water, and running full loads when doing laundry. Similarly, run your dishwasher dishes using full loads and use a lower water temperature if rinsing dishes beforehand.

• Opening and closing your blinds: For the colder months, open your blinds or shades to heat up your home naturally, and use an automatic thermostat to reduce the temperature of your home when you aren't there. In the summer, close your blinds during the day to keep your home cool.

For those who are looking for premium upgrades around the home, purchasing green appliances such as an energy efficient washer and dryer or fridge can help offset excess energy consumption.

If renting a water heater, EnerCare Inc., a leading provider of energy efficient products, including water heater rentals, reminds consumers to take time to review the benefits of new products, and never sign anything at the door when approached by a door-to-door water heater salesperson.

“Promises of savings and efficiency made by door-to-door water heater salespeople can be misleading, but consumers can protect themselves by being better aware of high pressure sales tactics used by salespeople. Remember to take the time to review a water heater contract before signing, and that you are never obliged to sign anything at the door,” said John MacDonald, CEO of EnerCare Inc.

Regardless of the steps you take, if taking the right precautions and choosing the right solutions for your home, going green in 2014 has never been easier, effective or affordable.

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