Top Five Tips for Home Energy-Efficiency
The debate over climate change continues to rage unabated, but regardless of your own opinions on the subject, everyone can agree that cutting down on energy waste is always a good idea. If you haven't assessed your home energy usage recently, maybe making some changes are in order. There are literally hundreds of steps you could take and it's easy to become overwhelmed: so here is a short Tip Five list of tips to help you get started.
1. Reconsider your laundry habits: A typical American household does 400 or so loads of laundry a year. At 43 gallons for a full load, that's a lot of water! Plus, 90 percent of energy consumed is used to heat the water. Try consolidating your family's laundry so that you are always doing full loads and use cold water for both wash and rinse cycles as much as possible. Clothes dryers are huge energy hogs: how about line-drying instead? Your clothes will last longer and smell fresher too.
2. Fridge facts: 18 percent of a household's electricity usage goes toward keeping that all-important refrigerator up and running. You can help it cool more efficiently by keeping coils clean and moving the fridge four or more inches away from the wall to keep the motor from overheating. If your unit is more than 10 years old, it's time to invest in a newer, more energy-efficient model.
3. Plug the leaks: Whether it goes out the chimney or under the door, you may be losing a lot of your hot or cool air through leakage. Add more insulation, close the flue, install more weather stripping, or invest in replacement windows. These are changes that will pay off over time through reduced monthly energy bills, and you'll feel great about putting an end to all that waste.
4. In the shower: It doesn't cost much at all, and the simple act of installing a high-efficiency shower head will save an average household about 7,800 gallons of water a year! A lower flow head will save a whopping 44 gallons per shower: that's nearly half the water usage of a conventional shower head.
5. Go high-efficiency with heating and cooling: Today's furnaces and air conditioning systems are head and shoulders over the models that were installed just 15 years ago. If you're still using older models, you're literally throwing hundreds of dollars a year away. Depending on the efficiency level of the models you choose, you can knock 20 to 30 percent or more off your monthly energy bills. Contact your Utah heating contractor or a contractor in the state where you live for more details.
Carolyn Ethington - About the Author:
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