Saving money by going green sounds great, but who has that initial capital in these tough economic times? The average person may not be able to afford a hybrid car or a solar panel array, however, there are many energy-saving changes you can make that are relatively inexpensive and have a fast return on investment. Below are ten strategies for cutting your utility bills and reducing your carbon footprint that have a payback period of less than two years.
1. Air Filters; Cost: $0 to $10
Payback: Immediate to less than 1 year
Cleaning or replacing the air filters of your cooling system or air conditioning unit allows the air to pass through easily and efficiently. When the air filter gets dirty, the system has to work harder to push the air through, using additional energy. Window unit filters can be wiped clean and central system filters cost about $10 each. Keeping the air filter clean saves about 7 percent in electricity costs a year making their payback period less than a year. Better yet, cleaning the air filter of a window unit costs nothing and can save about $20 per year.
2. Low Flow Fixtures: