Home Stepping Stones: Energy & Money Savings With Ease

Jul 16 2013

Small Steps to Save Energy and Money in Your HomeLet's face it, it's hot out there. Your house is working extra hard to make you feel comfortable. But it’s costing you money. Take steps to become cooler without spending that extra penny.

At Home
Change your air filters once a month (not only will it save you energy, but it will keep your air cleaner for your own health)
  • Turn off lights
  • Plant a tree to shade your house and exposed windows from the heat
  • Use ceiling fans and keep the A/C set to a reasonable temperature when home
  • Caulk and weather strip windows and doors to keep seals fresh
  • Hang blinds and heavy draperies to protect your home from the intense heat or cold
  • Take showers, not baths
  • Use your smaller kitchen appliances like toaster oven or microwave instead of your large oven
  • Don't keep the refrigerator door open while loading or planning meals
  • Wash full loads, dry to damp then hang dry (this will take out wrinkles so you don’t have to iron!), clean the lint screen and dry one load after another to preserve the heat that has accumulated in the dryer
  • Adjust the lighting in your home to dramatically save energy and money. Replace your bulbs with LED, compact fluorescent bulbs or energy efficient halogen bulbs which will not get hot and last a lifetime — this is a little bit of an initial cost that will save you lots in the end. Also, using dimmers helps.

Check and readjust your current electrical equipment and appliances. Don’t wash your clothes in hot (or even warm) water. You'll reduce CO2 emissions and save your water heater from working overtime. Your water heater thermostat can be turned down 20 degrees to save on energy costs and save 1200 pounds of CO2 emissions per year.

Also, turn your refrigerator (which accounts for 20% of household electricity use) to 37 degrees and your freezer to three degrees. If you have to use your dishwasher, load it to full capacity; but try to hand wash and dry them. If in the market for a new fridge, look for an Energy Star model, you can get federal incentives by changing out your old appliance with new eco-friendly versions.

On the Run
  • Take public transportation, walk or bike
  • Accelerate and brake vehicle gently to avoid quick starts and stops
  • Plan trips to avoid traffic jams and rush hour
  • Use cruise control
  • Don’t start your air conditioning right as you enter … cool the car down first by airing your car out through windows
  • Reduce your speed
  • Recycle used oil
  • Travel without extra weight.

At the Office
  • Bring your lunch to work so you don’t have to drive to get food
  • Carpool

One human being at a time, one day at a time helps. Ask your power supplier to come out and do an energy audit. This will tell you where there might be leaks and how you can change your habits to not only reduce your carbon footprint but save money. Have a pest control company to look for openings that let critters in, because those openings are letting in heat, too. Keep what should be inside, inside and let the outside world deal with its own problems.

by Brandon Jolley
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