According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States uses almost a million dollars worth of energy each minute, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The US is less than five percent of the world’s population, but we consume about one fourth of the world’s energy resources. The average American consumes six times more energy than the world average.
Here is a list of 10 ways to Green your home, and generally how to live more eco-friendly AND save money!
1. Review your energy requirements annually
Re-examine all your energy costs in detail so that you know where your energy dollars are going. That way when you see the electric bill spiking, you can find out what is really going on before it gets out of control.
2. Install energy saving lighting
This is probably the single MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do to not only save money, but also to save energy. Incandescent lighting is much more expensive to operate than fluorescent lighting. Modern compact fluorescents emit the same light as classic incandescents but use 75% or 80% less electricity.If every one of 110 million American households replaced an ordinary 60-watt bulb, with a compact fluorescent, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads.
3. Eliminate Phantom Load Energy Use
A “phantom load” is the energy that’s sapped by appliances when they’re plugged in, but not on. Use power strips or manually unplug DVD players, computers and cell phone chargers to save electricity from disappearing without a trace. In the average home, 40% of all electricity is used to power home appliances while they’re turned off. If all phantom loads in US homes were stopped, we could shut down 17 power plants. Power strips with surge protectors make it easy to “unplug” many appliances at once.
4. Install a programmable thermostat
You will be thrilled with the savings a simple upgrade like a programmable thermostat will make. No more forgetting to turn the air conditioning off! Best of all YOU can determine the temperature you desire for each room. A typical programmable thermostat costs about $75 and can pay for itself in one heating/cooling season. If used properly, a programmable thermostat can save 10% per year on heating and cooling bills.
5. Maintain your HVAC units
Purchase a service contract. Make sure filters are replaced regularly. Clean HVAC systems can save customers money as they perform more efficiently, decreasing energy costs. Another alternative is to use ceiling fans. They take a lot less energy that the air condition, and moving air feels cooler.
6. Turn off lights and equipment
Train everyone in your house to turn off lights as they leave rooms. Install energy saving bulbs wherever possible. Turn off computer monitors and computers. Energy costs soar when power is wasted.
7. Install Energy Star rated appliances
Everything from copiers to clothes dryers is Energy Star rated. Buy or lease but replace with Energy Star rated electrical equipment for maximum energy savings. Efficient products can reduce energy use by 30 to 50 percent. For example, many home and commercial appliances run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If those appliances consume 30 percent less energy, the savings add up quickly. A typical household equipped with Energy Star products can reduce its yearly energy bills by about $400. In 1997 alone, these efficient products and building designs have kept more than 15 million tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. At the same time, these products saved businesses and consumers more than $1 billion in energy costs.
8. Energy Efficient Doors and Windows
Wherever possible, close doors so that individual room thermostats can operate efficiently. Install Energy efficient, and or double glazing, storm doors and windows wherever possible. About one-third of a typical home’s heat loss occurs through the doors and windows.
9. Install on demand water heating
Why keep a 400 hundred gallon tank of water hot all the time? Install on demand hot water heaters in bathrooms and washup areas. That way you just heat the water you use. If you absolutely must keep the old hot water heaters, see if you can shut them off when not in use. Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 14 percent of your utility bill.
10. Install a pool cover
You can save significantly on energy, chemical and water costs by installing a pool cover. In 1996, the Department Of Energy determined that there are about 3 million private pools in the US, and these pools use about $ 3.5 Billion dollars a year in heating expenses. Energy savings with a pool cover can be as much as 80%. In addition to conserving electricity, with a pool cover, you conserve water by reducing the amount of make-up water needed by 30%-50%, reduce the pool’s chemical consumption by 35%-60%, reduce cleaning time by keeping dirt and other debris out of the pool.