Spring Into Energy Savings


Cooking on a gas stove
 
Improving the energy efficiency of your home is not only great for the environment, but can also contribute to substantial savings in the long run. Here 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 lightbulbs 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 properly and 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 for 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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In celebration of Earth Day, we’re taking a look at the many ways you can go green at home. Below are five that will make a difference for our environment and lower your bills.

 

* Upgrade outdated appliances: 18% of a typical home’s energy bill can be attributed to appliances. Replace older models with Energy Star appliances and you’ll use 10 to 15% less energy and water.

 

* Monitor your temperature: Nearly half of a home’s energy usage goes toward heating and cooling. To cut consumption, keep filters clean, consider a new/more efficient furnace, use ceiling fans, and adjust thermostats while you’re away.

 

* Save Water: Put an aerator on faucets and install low-flow toilets to cut water consumption by half.

 

* Buy greener cleaners: There’s an abundance of green cleaning products these days, so there’s no need to clean with products that are toxic to the environment.

 

* Switch out bulbs: The upfront cost is higher, but replacing light bulbs with more efficient models will save you money. CFL bulbs use 66% less energy and last 10 times longer than standard bulbs.

 

Happy Earth Day everyone!