Even though Earth Day has come and gone, it’s a good time to remember that energy efficiency can help “green” the planet while keeping more “green” in your wallet, says the Alliance to Save Energy.
In fact, based on April data from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Alliance has calculated that the average U.S. household will spend about $2,100 on home energy this year.
“Consumers who experienced high winter heating bills and are already contending with spiraling gasoline prices are eager to spend less on home energy this spring and summer,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “Energy efficiency not only significantly cuts home energy costs, it also increases indoor comfort.”
To help U.S. consumers go green and save green this spring, the Alliance offers the following energy-saving tips:
Seal air leaks and properly insulate. This should always be the first step toward reducing energy waste as it can save homeowners up to 20 percent on heating and cooling bills. In addition, taking the time to seal air leaks and properly insulate will increase your home’s comfort.
Turn things off. Take the time to turn off all lights, appliances and electronics when you’re not using them.
Take advantage of window coverings. Close blinds located on the sunny side of your home during the summer and open them in the winter. http://ase.org/resources/earth-day-lighting-dos-dontsGet with the program. A programmable thermostat, properly programmed, can save up to 10 percent on heating and cooling costs.
Look for the Energy Star label. The government’s symbol for energy efficiency, the Energy Star label can be found on a wide range of consumer products and can save homeowners up to 30 percent on related electricity bills.
New and improved light bulbs. Reduce energy use from about a third to as much as 80 percent with today’s increasing number of energy-efficient halogen incandescents, compact fluorescents and LEDs.
Clean or change furnace filters regularly. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm.
Reduce water heater temperature to 130° F. Lowering your water heater’s temperature will save you both energy and money. Be sure to wrap the water storage tank in a specially-designed “blanket” to retain the heat as well.
Switch to cold water. Washing your clothes in cold water will help you save money on laundry day.
Use low-flow faucets and shower heads to save money on water bills, too.
By Ronnie Kweller
Source: Alliance to Save Energy