By AJ Danboise
Energy-Saving Tips to Follow This Earth Day
It’s easy to think that our individual actions can’t affect real change, especially when it comes to protecting and preserving our earth. “To make a noticeable impact, everyone has to come together and act.” How many of you have had a similar thought? The truth is, succumbing to this kind of thinking isn’t productive as it discourages people from attempting to enact even small change, like picking up a piece of trash or turning off a light. This Earth Day, we want to empower you to cut back on your energy usage at home. By simply adjusting your daily routines and being more mindful, you can help sustain our environment, not to mention we think you’ll enjoy the monthly savings!
Change your HVAC air filter regularly.
A dirty, clogged air filter reduces your system’s efficiency, causing it to kick into over-drive to keep up with your demands. Change your filter every 30 to 90 days, depending on the manufacturer. If you have household pets, you’ll want to change them every 30 days for good measure.
Schedule annual HVAC maintenance.
Have your HVAC system serviced in the early spring and fall to ensure maximum efficiency? During a tune-up, a trained technician will check all the inner-workings of your system to make sure all is working properly. An unmaintained system, like a dirty air filter, requires more energy to operate.
Install programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat allows you to cut costs but not comfort. By setting your thermostat back 10 degrees for eight hours every day, you can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 10 percent. There are numerous benefits to switching to home automation in general. Check out our article: “3 Reasons to Switch to Home Automation” to learn more about how you can benefit from going automated.
Unplug appliances and devices when not in use.
So many of us now sleep with our smartphones next to us, plugged into the charger. Instead of keeping it plugged in overnight, charge it a few hours before you go to bed. Do the same with other electronic devices like your tablet or laptop. Check every room in your house for appliances or devices that you leave plugged in, but rarely use. That toaster you haven’t used in four months? Unplug it. That lamp you haven’t turned in ages? Unplug it.
Install water-saving fixtures.
Switch to low-flow shower heads and sink fixtures to cut back on your daily water usage. A family of four can save around $250 a year on water heating costs by switching going low-flow. If you want to take it a step further, you can also install low-flow toilets.
Switch from baths to showers.
By opting to take showers instead of baths, you will save nearly 13 gallons of water each time. Depending how often you clean yourself every day as well as how many people are in your household, this could make a huge impact. We also recommend taking shorter showers lasting no more than five minutes. We know how tempting it is to want to stay in and let the warm water soothe you, so set an alarm for yourself that requires you to get out to turn it off.
When doing laundry, use hot water only for dirty loads.
Unless you’ve got some really nasty clothes to wash, always opt for the cold cycle. This small adjustment will help lower your water heating costs. Before you wash a load, make sure it’s full, but not too full. After the load has finished, hang them up while they’re still damp. You’ll cut back on energy usage and prevent wrinkles and shrinkage.
Light your home efficiently.
Lighting accounts for nearly 10 percent of your energy usage; therefore, you should make sure your home is equipped with the most efficient lighting. Reduce lighting consumption by up to 75 percent when you switch out your incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents (CFLs).