1. Use More Conservative Appliance Settings
Often overlooked, simply using your existing appliances more efficiently can drastically reduce energy consumption in the home. For example, you may want to make sure your refrigerator and freezer aren’t set any higher than 37 degrees and 3 degrees, respectively. That may mean putting a thermometer in each to ensure that they’re calibrated correctly as well as examining the door gaskets to verify that they’re clean and seal tightly when closed.
Turning down the temperature on water heaters can also save significant amounts of energy and reduce carbon emissions by 600 pounds every year per 10 degree reduction. You may not even like how scalding hot your showers and faucets get–so why waste the money and electricity or fuel making them that way?
The same applies to space heating; just use your thermostat to schedule less heating during the night when you’re wrapped up in bed and return to regular levels during the day when you’re around and active. Read on to discover 3 more simple ways to conserve energy in the home.
2. Install Efficient Appliances
Energy star appliances are far more efficient than older models. Even state-of-the-art systems that are now 20 years old can’t compete with today’s highly efficient technology.
A much cheaper option to increase your home’s energy efficiency is to replace your light bulbs with the compact flourescent variety. While somewhat more expensive than other light bulbs, they use a mere 1/4 of the energy that incandescent light bulbs use and last 8-12 times longer–saving money in the long run by requiring replacement less often.
Although they cost more initially, they save money in the long run by using only 1/4 the energy of an ordinary incandescent bulb and lasting 8-12 times longer.
3. Weatherize Your Home
Caulking is extremely cost-effective considering its low cost and the energy savings it can bring. Replacing windows and insulation is also highly cost-effective, although it requires more cash up front. Altogether, simple maintenance and affordable home improvements can do more to reduce your energy costs and consumption than almost any other option.
4. Use Sustainable Transportation
Public transit and carpooling are far more efficient ways of commuting than driving solo. They’re also far more pleasant–allowing you to chat with your coworkers or read on the bus. Of course, nothing beats walking and biking when it comes to environment–not to mention your waistline.
5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Everyone knows “the 3 R’s”. Reducing the quantity of waste you produce by purchasing products with less packaging or choosing reusable products is by far the most effective part of this formula. Speaking of which, reusing materials and products is also a great way to lower consumption as well as your impact on the environment. And, failing all else, recycle if possible. While not quite as efficient as the other 2 R’s, it still beats putting it into the waste stream.
[photocredit: HowStuffWorks; DailyCaller]