Being eco-conscious doesn’t have to be pricey. You can reduce your energy usage and your energy bill, benefiting your wallet as well as the environment. It could benefit the environment if everyone in Hampton Roads followed these tips.
Install a programmable thermostat– Programmable thermostats allow you to schedule what temperature your house will be heated or cooled to, throughout the day. In the winter set your thermostat to 68-70 degrees in the day time and 65 degrees at night to keep your home comfortable and save on heating costs. In the summer set your house at a comfortable temperature as close to the outside temperature as you can. Certain thermostats can now even be linked to an app on your smartphone.
Limit your hot water use – Reducing your hot water usage can save you money and energy. There are many ways to use less such as taking shorter showers and washing clothes in cold water instead of warm. When installing new faucets and shower heads make sure to look for low flow options.
Replace burned out incandescent bulbs with LEDs – New technology has brought us light bulbs much better than the old fashioned incandescent. LED bulbs last 25 times as long as incandescent. Changing light bulbs will soon be a very infrequent task. Spending the extra few dollars for these bulbs benefits you in the long run.
Unplug electronics that are not being used – Electronics that are plugged in will still use power even if they are powered off. A solution is to use power strips for your electronics so you can easily switch them all off with ease.
Install high performance windows – Heat can easily pass through old fashioned single pane windows, a good solution is energy saving high performance windows. High performance windows have two pains with a gas fill in between them that insulate much better. There are also special reflective coatings on these windows that can keep heat in or out depending on the temperature.
Change air filters monthly – Dust in the air is stopped by your heating and cooling systems air filters. When air filters become clogged your heat or air conditioning system will not run as efficiently. Changing your filters frequently will keep your system running at its highest efficiency.
Stop air leaks – Anywhere something passes through your walls there is potential for an air leak. Air leaks make your heating and cooling system work harder than it has to. Look around your windows, doors, pipes, and other items that pass through your walls and see where you can apply caulk to stop the air leak.
Purchase energy star appliances – When your appliances need to be replaced replace them with energy star appliances. Energy Star Appliances use significantly less energy and therefore save you money.
Use ceiling fans – Ceiling fans can be used year round to keep the temperature comfortable. In the summer set your fans to spin counterclockwise to help bring hot air upwards but in the winter switch the direction to push the rising heat downwards.
Change your clothes washing habits – You can wash multiple loads at once to save water and energy. Set your dryer to a setting where the dryer cuts off once everything is dry or hang dry your clothes to avoid dryer costs completely.