The push to go green is a win-win for your household and the environment. By turning off the lights, unplugging electronics and recycling daily, you can make a big difference in your daily energy usage and help reduce pollution, not to mention the extra effort can save you money on utilities. With just a few minor tweaks to your daily routine, you may soon see how your habits to conserve energy can motivate others to do the same. Now is the time to go green and reduce your family's energy consumption.
Assess Your Energy Usage
An annual energy audit will help your family see where energy wastes occur in your home. Take a moment to inspect the usage in your home. Do you turn off lights when leaving a room? Are television sets left on overnight? Do you replace your heating and cooling filters every three months? Ask family members to divide and conquer an energy audit checklist and brainstorm additional ways to reduce the energy consumption in your home.
Although many people are reliant on appliances and electronic devices, you do not need to use energy continuously to run computers, phones and kitchen appliances. Reduce energy consumption by unplugging coffee pots, toasters, alarm clocks and stereos when you're not using them. Keep your outlets bare and free from extra phone chargers, too, to reduce the drain on your electrical supply and monthly utility bill.
Install Power Strips
Reduce your energy consumption by installing power strips for home theater and computer equipment. Save time and energy by unplugging the strip, instead of individually unplugging four or five devices. When plugged in and not in use, these appliances and devices still consume energy in standby mode.
Check for Air Leaks
Improving the insulation in your home can help reduce energy consumption and save you a few bucks on utilities. Inspect your home for air leaks around plumbing fixtures, exterior doors, windows and electrical outlets. If necessary, add additional insulation so your furnace or air conditioner is not working harder to make up the difference. Check the insulation in crawl spaces, the attic and basement walls.
Regulate Fridge Settings
Keep your food fresh and reduce the amount of energy used by keeping your refrigerator temperature steady at 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid setting your freezer higher than 5 degrees Fahrenheit, too. If your refrigerator has a power-save switch, enable it and always double check that the doors to the fridge and the freezer are sealed tightly.
Fill Up the Dishwasher
Fill up the dishwasher and use short cycles to get the most of the energy use in your home. Washing just a few dishes at a time can use more energy and water. Short cycles with full loads can help save water and the energy needed to pump and heat the appliance. Opt to air-dry the dishes, too, to reduce the amount of heat energy you use.
Decrease the amount of water for washing clothes by selecting the appropriate water level to match the size of your load. When possible, wash in cold water instead of warm or hot to reduce the energy to heat the water. When drying clothes, keep the lint filter clean and annually inspect the ductwork to eliminate debris, crumbs, hair and build-up. In fair temperatures, opt to hang your clothes outside on a clothesline.
Flip the Switch
Flip the light switch when leaving each room to conserve energy. Whether at home or the office, do your best to work by daylight if possible or use dimmers to reduce the amount of energy you use. Installing a timer on your light switches will automatically dim or shut off lights at specific times of the day.