We are looking for ways to help the environment. Whether it is “going green" and driving a hybrid car or using solar panels to assist with electric in our homes or maybe turning off the lights earlier than you wanted to, we are looking for ways to get the most out of energy.
With good practice on energy also comes the ability to save some money. Saving money in these tough economic times is also a good thing as well. So let's go ahead an outline some great energy saving tips that will also save you some money.
Heating & Cooling
One of the best things you can do as a homeowner for your heating and cooling unit is to clean it and change the filter. You do not need to be a licensed pro to accomplish this task. You just need about 10 to 15 minutes of your time. Keeping your unit clean makes it run efficiently and in turn you save on your home energy bill.
Appliances & Electronics
According to the Federal Department of Energy, “Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. These “phantom" loads occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance. "
Insulation & Air Sealing
Now you may need to bring in a handyman to do this but if you are even a bit handy you can do this one yourself. Your local home center sells protective film that can be applied onto your windows. This film helps to increase the energy efficiency of your windows. Follow the installation instructions on the package to maximize your savings.
Again according the D. O. E. , “Planting shrubs, bushes, and vines next to your house creates dead air spaces that insulate your home in both winter and summer. Plant so there will be at least 1 foot (30 centimeters) of space between full-grown plants and your home's wall. "
For the exterior of the house use lights that only come on when they are activated by motion. These lights also let you set them so that the lights will only come on when the sun goes down and activated motion. This gives you double savings. Now replace that regular light bulb with an energy efficient bulb available at any home center, Wal-mart, Target etc.
Keep lamps or anything that might generate a form of heat away from your thermostat if you have central air. This heat will give a false reading to thermostat and make your air run when it might not have to.
Use a fan during cool nights to pull air from the outside and circulate it through your house. Fans run a lot more efficient than your AC. Also when you are using your AC use the fan to circulate the cool air throughout the house more evenly.
During the day keep your blinds and drapes open to allow the warm sun to come into your home.
Change your thermostat to a programmable one and set it to only run a comfortable level of heat when you are home and reduce the temperature when you are not. This also works well for the summer time also.
Check the insulation in your home to make sure it meets the minimum standard required by the area that you live in. One call to your local housing department and you can get that information.
Above I have given you a variety of ways to help curtail your energy costs making your home more environmentally friendly as well as bank account friendly.
About the Author:
M. C. Podlesny is a freelance writer for Indocquent , an online advertising and social network medium.
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