This is a list of ideas that you can use to make your home more efficient and, in some areas, increase your home value. Many energy-efficient improvements can be made cost-effectively and even save money on utilities. Make sure that your home and the area where you live in are compatible. Drought tolerant garden. Homeowners use a lot of water in their gardens. Even if you have a hard time keeping anything green or if you don’t have a green thumb, you can get drought tolerant plants and add color to your garden. Crushed stone surrounding the plants can give everything an even more natural look. Inviting native life into your garden means that maintenance will be easier, because there will be less watering involved. If you live in a place that doesn’t get much rain, recycling rain water that comes from your gutters is a safe and cheap way of watering your garden. You can also use a storage reservoir that keeps water so that you can have it in storage while keeping the rain from flooding your garden. Reusable and sustainable. Fix leaky pipes. A leaky pipe does more than causing mold and preventing your home from passing an inspection - it also wastes a lot of water! It is relatively easy to tell how much water is being wasted by analyzing your annual water usage and how much the bill is every month. Once you’ve repaired a drip, you’ll be conserving water and wasting less on your utility bill. Install water management faucets. You can now buy low water usage faucets that will allow water to come out at a slower rate while still maintaining a good amount of water pressure. This, combined with an aeration device, will make sure that you are NOT wasting water while you are in the shower. Energy Efficient Appliances. Water efficient toilets should also be purchased. Instead of using a lot of water each time you flush, you can choose the amount of water pressure between solid and liquid waste. With this innovation, you are not stuck with predetermined amount of water set by the manufacturer. Similarly, you can upgrade your dishwasher to one that is water- and energy-efficient. New dishwashers will look better than that outdated old one, and will allow you to use less water simply by preventing you from having to hand-wash dishes or re-wash ones that don’t come out clean the first time. You should also consider energy efficient washers and dryers. Some of the new washing machines use a much smaller amount of water, which is especially great for small loads. Sufficiently insulated walls and proper caulking. The number one cause of people not getting adequate heat or air conditioning during the winter or summer months is that the house is not insulated or windows are not caulked properly. This is especially true in older homes built before many laws or regulations required homeowners to insulate the home properly. Adding extra insulation and installing new double sealed windows should keep your home tighter. Be sure to check out the infographic to learn more. Contributor James Link
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