Believe it or not, certain pieces of decor can actually help decrease your home's carbon footprint and save you money by lowering your utility bills as a result. From heat-insulating window treatments to cooling mattress toppers and more, scroll down for eight items under $50 that will conserve energy — and moolah — at home.
Before you invest in a pricey window air conditioning unit, consider an energy (and money) efficient tabletop A/C instead. This pint-sized yellow air conditioner uses ice water (instead of coolant) to help cool your home without driving up your electric bill.
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For as inexpensive as they may be up front, incandescent light bulbs are bad for both the environment and your pocketbook. This dimmable, color-changing LED bulb connects to your smartphone so you can customize mood lighting for any room of your home, while lowering your energy bills by up to 80%.
If you tend to get hot and sweaty while you sleep, then chances are you're running your air conditioning all night long. Save money and energy by investing in a cooling mattress topper composed of breathable, combed cotton, which will help keep you cool while you sleep without having to turn up the A/C.
Not only are leafy green houseplants a beautiful way to dress up a space, they can also naturally cool the air in your home. Similar to how humans sweat, plants release water vapors through their leaves and into the air when temperatures warm up, so placing a few around your house can help create a cooling effect.
If you're machine-drying everything you wash at home, you're doing it wrong. Along with allowing you to gently air-dry delicate garments, a storage-savvy foldout drying rack lets you dry all sorts of bulky laundry items — think throws, pillows, and bed sheets — sans electricity (or an old-school clothesline).
Stuck in a room with south-facing windows but don't want to run your A/C nonstop? These triple-woven blackout curtains are composed of a dense, sunlight-blocking polyester fabric that creates an insulating (and energy-saving) barrier for your windows, so your home will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in winter.
If you aren't already hip to the money-saving powers of surge protectors, then now's the time to smarten up. For about 20 bucks, this savvy six-outlet surge protector prevents your plugged-in devices from unexpected (and costly) power surges and spikes, and comes with two USB guards.
Why turn up your air conditioning when you can cool your home in style for cheap? This self-adhesive privacy film features a dreamy stained glass window-inspired design and blocks out UV rays and heat, so you can keep your home nice and chilly — no electricity required. It also protects your furniture from fading and sun damage, so you'll save even more money in the long run.