Tips on Energy savings
1. Go Green
Try planting a tree or two around your house. It does not only cut off your annual heating and cooling costs, according to the DOE, but will also make your backyard more attractive. (Leafy trees can shield the house from direct sunlight, keeping temperatures down, while still permitting sunlight to hit your house during the winter months.)
Not interested in nurturing your green thumb? Simply pulling the shades (or drawing your curtains) can cut energy costs as well, says Mel Hall-Crawford, an energy efficiency expert at the Consumer Federation of America.
2. Keeping It Clean
Keeping your air-conditioning unit clean and in peak performance is another big money saver, says Maria Vargas, an Energy Star spokesperson at the EPA. And air-conditioning filters (regardless of whether you have central air or an individual unit) should generally be checked at least every month to see if they need cleaning or replacement. This is something you should be able to do on your own.
Another item to keep clean is your refrigerator’s condenser coils, says Hall-Crawford. This will make the unit run more efficiently.
3. Get a Better LightBulb
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) uses 75% less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs, and last up to 10 times longer, according to the ASE. Be sure to look for CFLs with the Energy Star label, since these bulbs won’t have any buzzing or humming problems, promises Energy Star’s Reed. These bulbs now come in smaller sizes (called subcompacts) that can fit into any lamp, and they are available in more colors. According to the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), replacing just four well-used 100-watt incandescent bulbs with equivalent 23-watt CFLs will save you $120 to $200 over three years.
4. Try using a Fan
A ceiling fan balances out a room’s temperature, allowing you to turn down the AC and still feel cool.
5. Don’t Forget to Unplug
Even when all of your home electronics are turned off, they many continue to consume energy. The main culprits: televisions, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, phones and microwave ovens. (Generally, anything that has a clock, a remote control or an on/off light falls into this category.) In fact, idle TVs cost U.S. consumers $600 million annually, or $5 per household, according to the EPA. One solution: Plug these items that you would want to be completely turned off into a power strip, and then use that as your on/off switch.
6. Watch out for Leaks
Be wary if you are using an air-condition unit, you might just be letting the cool air out. Leaky windows and ducts (which carry the air to the rooms in your home) are a few ways that the cool air can be lost, making your air conditioner work harder. “We have found that as many as 70% of ducts are installed with leaks,” says Vargas. Having your ducts properly sealed and insulated could save you as much as 10% in energy costs, according to the EPA. So if you think your duct system is faulty, try to have it checked out by an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) technician.
What ever happens in life we should always remember to live life to the fullest!