Cutting energy is great for the environment and your wallet. Here are 10 easy ways to get started:
1. Look for the Energy Star label. Energy Star is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program to help businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate through superior energy efficiency. Products with Energy Star label have been tested and certified to use dramatically less energy.
2. Switch your light bulbs. Switching five traditional bulbs for five compact fluorescent lights (CFL) can save about $200 or more over the lifetime of the bulbs. Take into account the average home has 50 bulbs.
3. Have your heating system checked yearly, and replace the filter as directed. A dirty filter restricts airflow and along with a poorly functioning system, can drive up your energy bill.
4. Keep your AC running cool. Just as with your heating unit, your AC needs regular filter replacement and maintenance. If you have a unit located outdoors, make sure it’s free of debris and located in the shade for additional savings.
5. Run full wash loads with cold water. When you run the dishwasher or washing machine, make sure it’s full. In addition, do most of your laundry using cold water so that energy isn’t wasted heating laundry water. You can also put your washers on the shortest cycle.
6. Dry your clothes for less. Line dry or use a drying rack when possible. When you need to use the dryer, use the auto dry cycle to prevent over drying. Make sure to always clean the lint trap before each use.
7. Use high-performance windows. New windows will often pay for themselves through reduced energy costs. You can also save by adding storm windows, making sure windows are properly sealed, and using heavy drapes during the winter.
8. Consider insulation if you don’t have it. Adding insulation can save 20 percent on heating and cooling costs.
9. Use extra blankets and turn down the heat. Add an extra blanket in the cooler months to allow you to turn the thermostat down. For each degree the thermostat is down over an eight hour period, expect about 1 percent savings.
10. Close the fireplace damper when not in use, and consider sealing unused fireplaces. Leaving the fireplace damper open lets heated or air-conditioned air escape, similar to leaving a window open.
There are hundreds of ways to save on your energy bill. Click on the links throughout and below to learn more!
More Than 100 Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill – ConsumerEnergy.com
Cut Your Energy Costs – RealSimple.com