January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. Although this day may sound silly and not get a ticker tape parade, this day is vital to help people all around the US cut down on energy costs to save money and help the planet. What could be better? Here are some tips that could help you cut down on energy costs.
Take Shorter Showers
So simple and yet so effective, cutting your shower short by 3 minutes can help you save, on average, 5 gallons of water.
Check Seals on Windows, Doors, and Appliances.
Ensure your fridge and freezer are well sealed. The same goes for doors and windows. A lousy seal allows energy to seep out, draining your finances.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Set your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees when you’re asleep or away from home. Doing so for eight hours could lower your annual heating and cooling costs by around 10%. Upgrade to a programmable thermostat that can help you with that automatically.
Fix Your Leaky Faucets/ Replace Your Shower Head
Not only is a leaking faucet annoying, but it’s also wasting gallons of water.
If you’re handy with a wrench or hire a plumber, fixing those leaky faucets help you save water.
While you’re fixing your faucets, consider replacing your showerhead, an efficient showerhead can reduce your water usage by 2,700 gallons per year.
Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Stick to cold water when you do laundry; you could cut your per-load energy usage by at least half. In addition, you can now buy laundry detergent specifically for cold water washes.
Adjust your Water Heater
The default temperature setting on water heaters is typically 140F. Lowering it to 120F can reduce your water heating costs. Are you leaving town for a few days? Turn your water heater to the lowest setting to conserve energy usage.
Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
Buying an energy-efficient model can yield long-term savings. For example, a dishwasher with the Energy Star label requires 3.5 gallons of water or less per cycle, compared with the more than 10 gallons used by some older models. Prioritize the appliances you use the most often, such as your washer, dryer, and refrigerator.
Swap out your lightbulbs
You could save up to $75 per year by swapping your bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs that bear the Energy Star label.
Use Smart Power Strips
Some electronic devices never truly power off. These are usually — but not exclusively — items with remote control because the remote sensor needs power while waiting for your input. So instead, plug these electronics into a smart power strip, which cuts off the current when the devices aren’t in use.
Do an Energy Audit
Utility providers will often conduct a home energy audit, sometimes for free, and can identify additional ways to reduce your energy usage.
How Does Saving Energy Help the Planet?
By reducing the energy use in your home, you can reduce the demand for power, which can turn into harmful emissions such as carbon dioxide. You will often hear the phrase “reducing your carbon footprint” when referring to saving energy in your home. This is because you are offsetting the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. When we produce large amounts of greenhouse gas, the Earth’s atmosphere can’t absorb it, resulting in erratic temperatures, climate change, and air pollution—harming the planet and our health.
Energy-efficient systems/ products typically last longer than older, less efficient systems. In addition, less frequent maintenance, parts, and replacement help cut back on unrecyclable waste.
We still need to use energy in our homes every day. However, you’ll find that you use more than is required. And although it may seem daunting to cut your consumption, even minor changes can significantly impact you and the planet.
For more resources on how you can reduce your carbon footprint and ways to save energy, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s official website.
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”
― Helen Keller
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