Home energy efficiency is something that doesn’t always seem to take priority in our lives. Usually, convenience and speed seems to rule the products we use and the way we do things. But, especially in the wake of the drought in California, home energy efficiency is one of the biggest efforts we can make in terms of sustainability. Plus it can save you a good sum of money.
For example, did you know that washing your clothes in cold water could save $63 a year? Or getting an energy efficient heating pump can get you up to $300 in rebates? Or if every American changed five of their most-used light fixtures with Energy Star products, it would save $8 billion per year in energy costs? Yep, only five lights per household.
Home energy efficiency Tips
While it’s a little late to help lower that summer A/C bill, there are still plenty of ways to increase your home energy efficiency now.
• Add carpet or rugs to bare floors to encourage heat retention
• Gradually raise the temperature in your home – by cranking that thermostat up 20 degrees, you are activating the heat strip, which will use tons of energy. Gradual changes will help keep your home energy efficient.
• Close the flue in your fireplace in order to keep warm air in the house (but be sure to open it if you are using your fireplace!)
• Don’t block the air vents with curtains, drapes, or furniture.
• If you are going away for vacation, there is no need to completely turn off the heater. Simply set it to 60 degrees. That way it doesn’t over work and activate the heat strip when you return.
• Always use power strips for electronics. Simply turn off the power strip when the electronics are not in use to cut energy costs.
• Many home electronics go into “standby” mode when they are not actively in use. They are still using energy to provide you with displays like the clock, but are eating away at your energy bill.
• Unplug battery chargers once your batteries reach a full charge. Not only does it help maintain the life of the battery, but it will also stop using continuous power (even when the device isn’t plugged into the charger!)
• Replace standard light bulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs) that are more energy efficient while still giving off the same amount of light.
• Use motion-detector lights outside – not only are they convenient for when you are out all day and come home at night, but they are also more efficient. There is no longer a need to leave your porch light on for hours.
• Make sure you are using the proper bulb – CFL bulbs come in different sizes and types depending on lighting needs. Verify that you have the right type in each fixture.