Spring Into Energy Savings


Spring Into Energy Savings

 

Improving the energy efficiency of your home is not only great for the environment, it can also contribute to substantial savings in the long run. Below are some small changes you can make throughout your home to help lower your energy bills:

 

Turn off the thermostat – When away from home, avoid keeping your thermostat on. When home, adjust it in small increments to reach your desired temperature. Even better, open windows and use ceiling fans or space heaters to cool or warm your home.

 

Switch your light bulbs – Switch the light bulbs in your home to more energy efficient ones (think CFL and LED bulbs). Not sure which ones to choose? Check out our helpful light bulb guide here.

 
Clean and replace filters once a month – Clean filters allow systems to run more efficiently and for shorter periods of time.

 
Keep a full refrigerator and freezer – A full refrigerator unit will operate the most efficiently. On the other hand, be sure not to overcrowd it.

 
Keep your oven and stovetop clean – Regularly cleaning your oven and stovetop will enable them to run more efficiently.
 
Run your dishwasher when it’s full – Running your dishwasher with a full load every time is the most efficient use of the appliance. In addition, use the lowest temperature dry cycle if you prefer not to air-dry your dishes. Heated drying is not always needed and can even damage plasticware.

 

Use power strips/surge protectors – Cords that remain plugged in while not in use still expend energy in standby mode. Feeding them all into a power strip makes it easier to switch them all off at once instead of keeping them on standby. In addition, it also protects your electronic devices from unsafe voltage spikes.

 

Turn off lights – When leaving your home, turn off all lights. When at home, turn off lights in any room not being used.

 

Mind the gaps – Check windows and doors for cracks, gaps, and openings. Replace broken glass, framing and caulk where necessary.

 

Purchase wisely – When purchasing appliances such as computers and dishwashers, be on the lookout for the “Energy Star” logo denoting high-efficiency. Many newer appliances are required by the U.S. Department of Energy to be more efficient than older ones.

5 Easy Ways to a Greener Home


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There are many different ways to go green at home. There are big ways, like investing in solar panels, and there are smaller ones like growing your own vegetables. Even if you do just one or two of the below five things, you can make a big difference for our environment  — and you’ll see the results on your bills.

 

Upgrade outdated appliances — This one requires a bit of an investment, but you just may be wasting more money keeping old appliances than you’d spend replacing them with new ones. Eighteen percent of a typical home’s energy bill can be attributed to appliance use. By upgrading to newer Energy Star appliances you’ll consume 10- to 15% less energy and water than standard models.

 

Monitor your temperature — Nearly half of a home’s energy usage goes toward heating and cooling. Keep your filters clean, consider a new/more efficient furnace, and make good use of ceiling fans. Also, turn the heat or A/C up or down, depending on the season, while you’re out of the house. Just a few degrees can make a nice dent in your energy bills.

 

Save Water — Putting an aerator on your faucets can cut your annual consumption by half. You can also install low-flow toilets, which use just over half the normal amount per flush.

 

Switch out your bulbs — Replacing your light bulbs can save you money even though the upfront cost per bulb is higher. CFL bulbs use 66% less energy and last 10 times longer than standard bulbs. Replacing a 100-watt regular bulb with a 32-watt CFL can save you $30 per bulb.

 

Buy greener cleaners — There’s an abundance of green cleaning products available these days, so there’s no longer a need to clean with products that are toxic to both you and the environment. A simple online search will reveal which products are greener than others.