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Going green on a budget

Going green doesn’t have to mean spending an arm and a leg. Some homeowners install solar panels to lower monthly costs and protect the environment, but there are many little things that can be done around the home that accomplish the same goals.

Older refrigerators and second ones that you keep inside your garage use 10 to 50 more energy than the more energy efficient models available on the market today. Making that simple change could reduce your electrical usage by up to $150 a year. Replacing a 100-watt incandescent light bulb to a 32-watt CFL can save up to $50 over the life of the bulb. Now think about how many light bulbs you change in your home annually!

Did you know that more than half of a home’s energy consumption is due to heating and cooling? Call a handy man and have him start with the little things like servicing your furnace and checking it for any defects. Resealing and weather stripping around all your doors and windows is another energy saver. Each degree change could save from 3 to 5 percent on your usage. Consider using ceiling fans prior to turning on your air conditioning unit. And during the summer, running the dish washer after the sun has gone down is a real energy saver.

Nine out of 10 homeowners unwittingly waste water. You can reduce water consumption by up to 50 percent annually simply by installing aerators on all your faucets. New low-flow toilets only use 1 to 2 gallons of water per flush vs. 4 gallons with an older model. For those of you who can’t afford new toilets, adjusting your float valve will release less water per flush. During the summer, I often see homeowners using a garden hose to clean driveways or patios. Did you know using a broom instead could save up to 100 gallons of water?

All of these small measures, when taken together, can lead to huge savings. But don’t overlook bigger-ticket items like installing solar panels or re-insulating your home. They’ll save you money in the long run, and make your house more appealing if you put it on the market.

A new home is a huge investment, and money-saving eco-friendly features could give your home the edge it needs to beat out the other inventory on the market and get your property sold more quickly!

For more, call 847-292-4700, e-mail gz@zerillorealty.com or visit www.zerillorealty.com.

About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation’s 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.