As a homeowner, you can promote a cleaner environment and lower your monthly utility bills by making some simple changes to your lifestyle. And with the New Year officially here, there’s no better time to go green.
1. HVAC Tune-Up
When neglected, heating, ventilating and cooling (HVAC) systems become less efficient; thus, consuming more power while providing less cooling and heating power. You can keep your HVAC system running in peak condition, however, by seeking a tune-up.
2. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances
If you’re willing to spend the money, upgrading to energy-efficient home appliances can reduce your energy usage and even save you money in the long run. Washing machines touting the ENERGY STAR logo, for instance, consume approximately 40 percent water and 25 less energy than traditional washing machines.
3. Tankless Water Heater
Another way to green this year is to install a tankless water heater. Traditional water heaters hold and heat 20 to 80 gallons of water. Tankless water heaters, however, only heat water when it’s needed. Therefore, they consume less power than their counterparts.
4. Low-Flow Showerhead
Consider installing a low-flow showerhead in your home. As explained by the Department of Energy (DOE), low-flow showerheads consume less than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Replacing traditional showerheads with low-flow models yields an average water savings of about 25 percent to 60 percent.
5. Adjust Your Thermostat
Of course, you can save energy by adjusting your thermostat as well. The DOE specifically states that raising the thermostat by 10 degrees in the summer or lowering it by the same amount in the winter for eight hours a day can save homeowners up to 10 percent on their heating and cooling costs.
6. Eliminate Parasitic Drain
Some electronic devices continue to consume power even when turned off. Known as the parasitic drain, the DOE says it accounts for roughly 10 percent of the average U.S. home’s energy usage. So, if you aren’t using an electronic device, unplug it from the outlet.
7. Compact Fluorescent Lighting
Still using incandescent light bulbs in your home? Replacing them with compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) will lower your energy usage. CFL bulbs use approximately 70 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
8. Wash Clothes in Cold Water
According to the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), nearly 90 percent of the energy used by a washing machine goes to heating the water. Washing clothes in cold water, however, eliminates this usage to create a more energy-efficient home.
9. Search for Thermal Leaks
Of course, you should also inspect your home, inside and out, for thermal leaks. Gaps around doors, windowsills, and baseboards should be sealed with caulk to minimize thermal leakage.
10. Wash Full Loads of Dishes
Assuming you have a dishwasher and don’t wash your dishes by hand, wait until you have a full load to start it. Statistics show the average dishwasher uses about 6 gallons of water. Waiting until you have a full load, however, promotes a higher level of energy efficiency.
11. Thermal Curtains
Finally, installing thermal curtains will reduce your home’s thermal energy loss and ultimately save you money on your utility bills. Thermal curtains are designed with heavy-duty material that traps thermal energy.
Following these 11 tips will set you on a greener path for the New Year.