To 10 Tips for Energy Savings
If you were to view my gas bill, you’d probably tell me to ‘MOVE’. Quickly. Yes, it’s been THAT steep- nearly $200 as I HATE being cold. To my defense- I do live in a 1920’s Bungalow with original single pane windows (yes,painted over broken sash), no insulation in the attic or floor boards and oh, let’s not forget the jacked up baseboards and extra holes around the electrical outlets from the mortgage fraud flippers. With all these issues, where to begin? My goal is to eventually “green” my entire home, have it meet some level of energy rating- and stop pouring money out the window. I’ve started with the little things. Changed light bulbs- check. Unplug appliances- check. Install a programmable thermostat- check.
While I have not noticed a difference (as my issues far surpass a 60watt bulb), I do feel good to know that I am not contributing to my expenses in a frivolous way. Then again, who knows- what if I DIDN’T do these things?
Here is a list to help you being your Energy Savings journy,found on the http://www.ecobroker-international.blogspot.com/:
- Replace your incandescent bulbs with CFLs. – CFLs use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and can last up to ten times as long. By replacing the five most commonly used bulbs in your home, you can save about $70 every year on energy costs. The more you replace, the more you save.
- Unplug appliances, chargers, and electronics you are not using. – Vampire power (also called phantom energy) is the energy used by electronics that are turned off. This can account for as much as 10% of your home energy use.
- Install a programmable thermostat. – Programmable thermostats are a great way to lower your energy bills by offering you pre-determined control over your homes heating and cooling schedule. Not only does this save on energy by altering temperature to energy-saving settings while you are away or sleeping, it does it automatically according to your set guidelines allowing you to save energy without even thinking about it.
- Save water – Put aerators on faucets and install a low-flow showerhead. – Aerators attach to your faucet to decrease the water flow while maintaining high pressures. Since faucets make up around 15% of a typical home’s indoor water use, decreasing the water flow on every faucet in your home can easily help save a significant amount of water. Low-flow showerheads essentially work the same way, minimizing the amount of water you use while running the shower.
- Recycle. – According to the National Recycling Coalition, the average American discards 7.5 lbs. of garbage every day! Recycling not only helps minimize this amount of waste being put into landfills, it helps minimize the use of natural resources and saves energy in manufacturing new products. And the best part is, it’s easy!
- Use eco-friendly cleaners. – In 2007, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine reported that 15% of all asthma cases were caused by exposure to unsafe cleaning products. To avoid this and other negative effects, look for cleaners with the EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) label or the Green Seal.
- Fill air leaks with caulking or weather stripping. – Cracks around your windows and doors can be a major energy drain on your home as they decrease the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by allowing air to escape. To avoid this problem, apply caulk or weather stripping around windows and doors or other spaces where air may be leaking through.
- Plant a tree to shade your home. – Planting a six to eight foot deciduous tree with high spreading crowns on the south side of your home can help increase the efficiency of your air conditioner by up to 10% as areas surrounding shade trees typically see a 9 degree temperature reduction, with a 25 degree reduction in the direct shade of the tree. This can obviously yield tremendous energy savings by helping keep your home cool without the extensive use of fans or A/C. For best results, plant a tree to the south of your home for maximum summer shading.
- Insulate your hot water heater and furnace. – By putting a “blanket” of insulation around your hot water heater and furnace, you can reduce heat loss by 25-45%, reducing your energy bill by 4-9%. Some blankets come pre-cut and ready to wrap around your heater while others require cutting and forming to fit your specific model. These blankets are available at many home improvement stores or online.
- Replace your HVAC filters. – Energy Star recommends that you check your filters every month for excess debris that can restrict air flow and cause dust and dirt to enter your ventilation system and decrease your home’s indoor air quality. Filters should be replaced at least every three months or whenever they look dirty to avoid negative health effects and increase your HVAC’s efficiency.
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