With growing environmental concerns, individuals are constantly seeking innovative solutions to reduce their ecological footprint and minimize their energy consumption. However, the same individuals are often content to pay their electricity or water bills each month without ever questioning. Individuals need to see if there are steps that could be taken to reduce their energy consumption and subsequently lower their monthly expenses.
The truth is, it has become increasingly simple to reduce monthly utility costs by improving the efficiency of your home. Business leader and home construction professional, Dean Buescher, outlines three tips to make your home more environmentally friendly.
Tip 1: Lower Your Thermostat
Slight temperature variances can have a significant impact on your home’s ability (or inability) to be energy efficient. Keeping your thermostat below 68 degrees during the winter or above 78 in the summer will ensure your home remains both comfortable and energy efficient. Dean Buescher suggests that individuals may also consider using an automatic thermostat that adjusts based on time of day or other pre-programmed settings.
The reflection of the sunlight on your home will also impact energy efficiency. By opening your blinds and allowing sunlight in during the winter months, you will benefit from extra warmth from the sun’s rays. In the summer, using blackout curtains can help keep things cool. If you are able to effectively control how much sunlight shines in through your windows, your HVAC system will not have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Tip 2: Remember to Unplug Devices
There are no shortages of electronic devices in the typical American home. However, many of us never remember to unplug or power off our devices when they are not in use. Dean Buescher adds by keeping electronics plugged in, can have a strong impact on a home’s ability to be energy efficient.
If there is an appliance or other electronic device in your home that you seldom use, unplug it to lower the amount of electricity being used. Remember to unplug devices such as cell-phone chargers, tablets, and gaming systems. Homeowners can also invest in a high-quality power strip, with an on/off switch, this will make it easier for you quickly turn off all connected devices.
Tip 3: Look for the Energy Star Rating
According to Dean Buescher, if your appliances are more than 8 years old, you should consider investing in newer, energy star rated, appliances designed to operate more efficiently while consuming less energy.
If you are not in a financial position to purchase all new appliances, there are other things you can do:
· Keep the refrigerator door closed — check the seal in the door by placing a dollar bill between the door gaskets and attempt to pull it out. If it comes right out, it isn’t sealing properly and is using more energy to keep your food cool.
· Keep your fridge temperature at 38 degrees and your freezer at 0 degrees.
Small lifestyle and home changes can have a big impact on your home’s efficiency. Don’t open the oven door while cooking, remember to clean your dryer lint trap regularly, and only run the dishwasher when it is full, and you will be well on your way to saving energy and costs.