June 6, 2013
Hesitant to sign up for an environmentalist organization? Feeling too lazy to hike and plant trees? Not in the mood for salad? Stop your excuses. You can still go green right at your own home, while doing your daily activities. Who says you have to go out of your house to start contributing to Mother Earth?
Your home is the best place to transform power-saving practices into everyday habits. Learning the behavior and getting used to it are the successful building blocks of saving electricity at home. Habits, such as turning off the lights before leaving your room or unplugging your appliances when not in use, can go a long way from being mere habits. These home practices will not only help to decrease our carbon dioxide emissions but also will help you to save on your energy bill each month.
Here is a list of some of the simple things you can do to conserve energy at home:
Use compact fluorescent bulbs.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lighting accounts for up to 10% of home energy consumption. By switching to energy efficient fluorescent or LED bulbs, up to 80% of energy consumption from lighting can be reduced and 260 pounds of carbon dioxide can be saved.
Walk or join your neighborhood’s car pool.
These are fun activities that will not only give us significant savings on carbon dioxide emissions, but they will also allow you to socialize and interact with other people.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
This classic tagline will never fail to save us more electricity and sources of energy.
Monitor and lower the power consumption of all your appliances.
Some of the appliances that require the most energy are the refrigerator, dryer, and water heater. If you let these appliances overwork, they will generate more energy, thus spiking up your electricity bill.
- Heating and Cooling Units. Heating and cooling units account for half of an average home’s energy consumption. The simple practice of cleaning or replacing your unit’s air filters monthly can save up to 175 pounds of carbon dioxide every year and help to reduce your energy costs. For maximum efficiency without sacrificing comfort, it is recommended that programmable thermostat setting be set to the following:
6:00am – less than 70 degrees
8:00am – 8 degrees lower than above
6:00pm – less than 70 degrees
10:00pm – 8 degrees lower than above
6:00am – more than 78 degrees
8:00am – 7 degrees more than above
6:00pm – more than 78 degrees
10:00pm – 7 degrees more than above
- Water Heaters. According to the EPA, water heating accounts for approximately 19% of home energy consumption. Lowering your water temperature from 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit can lower water heating costs by 6-10%. Of course, reducing your hot water consumption will help to lower your water heating costs as well.
- Refrigerators.You should turn your refrigerator down since this appliance can generate 5-14% of your total electricity usage. The EPA recommends that refrigeration temperatures be kept at a safe 35-38 degrees Fahrenheit and freezers be kept at 0-5 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that your refrigerator is not setting next to heated appliances such as ovens, stoves, and dishwashers, and try to keep the appliance out of direct sunlight.
- Dishwashers. Maximize the usage of your dishwasher by making sure that it is completely full before running a cycle. You can save up to 20% of this appliance’s electricity consumption by turning off the drying option and manually drying the dishes yourself. If you live in a dry and cool climate, dishes can be dried with little or no water spots by simply cracking the dishwasher door once the wash cycle is complete.