Ed. Note: It’s Earth Day on April 22. In conjunction with this important day, which is just a week away, PW would like to do its parts in helping to create a greener world – by creating awareness in its readers – through this article.
A typical American home would spend almost $2000 a year on electric bills alone. That would equate to more than $160 a month.
But did you know that a large portion of the energy is wasted than used?
And if we can only sum up all the wastes of every American household and divert this somewhere else, we can power the rest of the world living in darkness. Unfortunately, we couldn’t. We cannot convert this wasted energy in more useful ways.
But this does not mean that we cannot do anything about it. We can start making changes right at our very home.
Without spending too much before you can actually save, you can convert your home into an energy efficient environment. Here’s how:
1. Repair and leaks and damages all over your house.
During winter, your house needs to be secured and sealed. In this way, the cold air outside would not enter your home that would give your heating system a hard time warming up the house. Make sure the doorframes, windows, sills, and joints would not let the cold air enter the house. Sealants can easily do the job. For portions of the house with moving parts contacting to the non-moving parts like garage doors, exterior doors, operable windows, and door of attic, weatherstrippings act as a good sealant. Weatherstripper is a rubber material that seals the movable object from its non-moveable object. Weatherstripper can usually be seen on vehicles between the doors and the doorframes.
2. Use plastic window covers.
To efficiently block the heat from going out of your house, you can use plastic window covers. This would effectively reduce the energy cost since your heating system would not be forced to replace the heat lost. This is one inexpensive and smart way to start your home energy saver.
3. Remove all the door gaps.
Door gaps usually occur when the wood used for your door shrinks due to the temperature change or if the doors are not properly installed. If this happens, make sure you seal and remove these door gaps. As was mentioned above, leaks could cause additional work on your heating system that in turn, cost you a lot of money. Make sure you keep your doors sealed and tight.
4. Replace your incandescent bulbs with fluorescent lights.
You will save as much as $40 on electric bills over the life of the fluorescent light. And since it lasts 8 to 10 times more than the regular incandescent, you spare yourself in spending 8 to 10 times on replacing bulbs.
5. Replace your regular overhead shower with low-flow showerheads.
It may not sound as a pretty good idea especially if you are the type of person who loves to take a shower every now and then. But low-flow showerheads will work efficiently and would yield to better energy use. Not only it will contribute on your energy conservation, the shower experience would not be very bad at all. Doing so would let you save about $50 every year.
6. Keep the volume of your electronic devices at the moderate level.
Sure, many people would like their televisions or their stereos to be as loud as their ears can endure. But, as the speakers get louder, more electricity is consumed. If you really have the urge for loud music, using a headphone is a great idea.
7. Buy energy efficient appliance.
When you shop, you may want to see EnerGuide labels first. The EnerGuide states how much energy the appliance consumes. You can see it on most appliances for sale. Knowing this would give you better electricity savings would yield to long-term energy saving effect.
8. Keep the walls sealed.
You would not only concentrate on your windows, doors, sills, on joints, you should also consider sealing the walls. Any cracks have a tendency to grow larger and larger. Make sure that your walls are sealed so that the air from the outside would not enter.
9. Use laptops instead of desktops.
Believe it or not, desktops consume 10 times more energy than laptops. So whenever possible or if you have the choice between the two you can prefer the more energy efficient one. One last thing: there are printers and fax machines with power management feature, prefer buying them.
10. Do laundry and dishwashing full load.
You should know this: You can save as much as 85 to 90% when you turn the dial of your laundry to cold. Heating the water will consume a lot of energy. Also, you can save a lot when you wash full load. One last thing: a front loading washing machine saves you 50% on water and 50% on energy. Dishwashers consume the same energy regardless of wash loads. Therefore, it would be much energy efficient if you load your dishwasher full.