Saving energy and helping the environment is on everybody’s mind, especially in this New Year of 2019 as many people move toward making their home greener. If one of your resolutions was to save energy or to help reduce your carbon footprint, we can help. Big resolutions are hard to keep, so we suggest that you start small, and we have some ideas just for you:
One of the most simple things you can do is turn your lights out when you are not in the room. So much electricity is wasted every second by powering lights to rooms that are empty. Something nifty to try….lights that are motion activated, then you don’t even have to remember to shut them off.
A simple trick to saving water is taking shorter showers. Not sure how to do this? While you are soaping up your hair, shut the water off or consider shortening your routine by shampooing every other day (this can be good for your hair, especially in the dryer winter months). Want to think bigger? Turn down your water heater from the standard temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees or lower as this could decrease your water bill by up to 10%.
When traveling and using your car long distance, you should get your car inspected before going and specifically have your oxygen sensor checked. This is the part of your car that regulates how it runs and if your oxygen sensor is faulty, you could lose up to 40% of your gas mileage and cause you to have to use far more gas than your car actually needs and that could really add up quickly.
Back to your house lights – a quick and long-term way to make your home greener is to upgrade your light bulbs to LEDs which are much more energy efficient and can save you money, and they last a lot longer than regular light bulbs.
By programming your thermostat, you can save money on your heating bill. You should program it to turn down then you leave the house and to also turn down a few degrees at night. Even just those two little changes could mean a big difference in savings and in energy usage.
Wash Full Loads
When using your dishwasher or washing machine, wash full loads instead of washing multiple smaller loads. You will actually use less water, detergent, and ultimately, this will save you money. When using your washing machine, consider using cold/cold cycles as many newer machines wash clothes just as well in cold water and this will save on your bills.
In the winter switch the spin rotation on your ceiling fans to spin clockwise, it will pull down heat from your ceiling, sending it back into the room making it feel warmer.
By using power strips, you can plug in multiple appliances, and with the flick of only one switch, you can reduce your standby power loads. Things like your coffee maker, toaster, and microwave that all draw power during the day when not in use, could all be shut down saving energy.
These are just some simple but useful tricks that could help cut your carbon footprint and help fulfill your New Year’s resolution! If you want a deeper dive into your home’s energy usage and how you can be more green this year, consider having an energy audit from HEAT Squad where they will do a comprehensive home healthy and energy audit. Find out more at https://www.heatsquad.org/home-energy-audits/
Author: Bailey Aines, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont part-time employee