Green means go Eco-friendly home improvements that deliver the most bang for the buck by Independent staff • photos by Chad Harder
The “Go Green” movement has been around for so long that it’s almost passé now, some taken-for-granted thing like high-speed internet or heated car seats. Yet, for whatever reason, many homeowners continue to procrastinate or outright ignore the obvious increased savings of an ecofriendly upgrade. Stop the insanity. The technology is available and the prices are largely affordable. 16
There’s no reason to wait to make changes any longer. We’ll ensure it’s even easier by providing a list of relatively easy and affordable home-improvement projects that are guaranteed to save homeowners money and reduce their carbon footprint.
Life, programmed We promised to make this easy, and few things are easier than plopping down as little as Homesteader 2012
$45 for a programmable thermostat and installing it in your home. (These can go up in price, but the basic models work just fine for the average home.) This one device can save about 15% on your heating bill, which during Montana’s harsh winters adds up to a nice little chunk of change. Setting one up is also a piece of cake. Most models involve a low voltage wiring installation and connect to the wires of your old
thermostat. (Note: Just be sure to turn off the electricity before jumping in.) Programming entails punching a few buttons. Make sure to set the temperature low whenever you’re at work, and while you sleep, and schedule the heat to kick back on around the time you wake up and when you get back from Happy Hour. As a bonus, if you’re a NorthWestern Energy customer, check the company’s
Your guide to renting, buying and living green