Energy Saving Tips for the Home
The phrase “Going Green” has become increasingly common. It refers to making choices that are beneficial to the environment, and using fewer resources wisely. More than ever, people are looking for ways to accomplish this in their homes and become more environmentally friendly. Although it is not difficult to do, it does require a commitment and a willingness to change. In order to make this commitment and stick with it, people should understand what needs to be done.
Benefits of Going Green
The number of benefits associated with going green in one’s professional and business life are plentiful. The most obvious benefit is a financial one. People who make the effort to successfully save energy in their homes can cut their energy bills by as much as thirty percent according to Energy.gov. Eco-friendly changes that are made to the home, such as the addition of solar panels for example, can also raise the resale value of the house. In addition to the monetary savings and other financial benefits, people are also protecting the environment by reducing the amount of natural resources that are being used. In addition, by becoming more green people are also releasing fewer pollutants into the air.
Get the Family on Board
To be the most effective when it comes to conserving energy, it’s critical that the entire family is on board for the effort, including children. Saving energy often isn’t something that kids think about and, as a result, their energy usage in the home is often high. In order to reduce this, parents should have a discussion with their children explaining the importance of saving energy and ways that they can help. The Internet can be a good resource for parents in helping them explain this and is also a source of fun activities for younger children. Simply advising children and all adults to turn off lights and all electrical items when they are not in use can go a long way in conserving energy. Enforce water conservation by instructing children to turn off the water when brushing their teeth and only turn it back on to rinse.
Use Your Appliances More Efficiently
Although appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines make up a large portion of a home’s energy usage, how a person uses them can affect their efficiency. When using a dishwasher, for example, it should only be operated when it is full instead of partially full. When using the laundry machine it should also be full, and the water temperature turned to cold instead of hot. With the exception of highly soiled items, cold water is more than sufficient when it comes to cleaning. In addition, people should refrain from using too much laundry detergent as the excess suds can cause the machine to work harder. Hanging clothing on a line or laundry rack to dry them is a good idea. This is a good option during the warmer weather months when clothing can be dried outdoors. Microwaves use less energy than ovens and should be used whenever possible. Another energy conservation tip for appliances refers to the refrigerator. Refrigerators run more efficiently and use less energy when they are full and the doors are kept closed. Check the seals around the refrigerator and freezer doors to ensure that they are in good condition. If there are empty spaces in the refrigerator or freezer, use jugs of water to take up the empty spaces.
Additional Energy Saving Tips
In addition to appliances, there are other ways that people can make their homes more energy-efficient. Often, even the most inexpensive changes can make a difference in energy consumption. Cracks, holes, and gaps can cause cold air to leak into one’s home in the winter and cold air from air conditioning to leak out in the summer months. This can make the heater and air conditioner work harder than necessary. A visual inspection of the home can reveal these leaks and efforts should be made to seal or block them. Closing the damper in the fireplace will also prevent cold air from entering the home and elevating energy use and cost. Other steps include switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs which use less energy than traditional light bulbs. Low-flow shower heads use less water than regular shower heads. This means less water that needs to be heated, and less energy used to heat it. Reducing the temperature on one’s water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit can cut the cost of heating water. Even one’s landscape can help conserve energy. Strategically placed trees and shrubs can help block the sun and provide shade during the summer and can also block cold winds in the winter.
Beyond the Home
When it comes to protecting the environment, it isn’t enough to just save energy in the home. It is also important to carry those good habits to the other places that occupy one’s time such as work or when in school. While at work people can reduce extra energy consumption by turning off their computer monitors when leaving their desk or when they are not needed. One can also reduce the amount of pollution released into the atmosphere and reduce the amount of energy used by adjusting their driving habits. Driving tips include combining multiple car trips into a single trip, keeping windows up while driving on the highway, and rolling them down while on surface streets, and avoiding rapid acceleration. Cars with extra weight consume more gas, so cleaning out cars to remove heavy items is also beneficial. Properly inflated tires and regular maintenance can also lower fuel usage.