Top 10 Energy Saving Tips - Accent Energy, New York
Going green is a huge trend, even a bit of a craze, these days. Not only does it make sense in terms of taking care of our planet, but it can also save you a bundle of money. Here are ten simple ways to help out the earth and your wallet!
1) Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
They may be more expensive to purchase than their incandescent counterparts, but changing just a few can save you significant money each year. How is that possible? Not only do they use less energy (two-thirds less, to be exact), but they also last as much as ten times longer! In addition, the majority of energy used by incandescent bulbs goes towards heating them. This means they just add heat in the summer-when you're trying to get rid of it.
2) Turn off and unplug appliances you're not using.
The first part may seem like a no-brainer, but so many people fail to do it. There's no need to have lights, televisions or computers on when they're not in use. All they're doing is draining you of money! And the same can be said for equipment that remains plugged in while not in use. Appliances like computers, cell phone chargers and microwaves continue sucking power while they're turned off and still plugged in. A computer that is plugged in but turned off can account for up to ten percent of your home's electricity use! An easy way to tackle this is by plugging things into power strips that you can turn off when you're not using them.
3) Conserve water.
Again, it sounds simple but so many of us fail to do it. Small steps like only running full loads of dishes and clothes, installing low-flow showerheads, and taking short showers can save you money! Just turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth can save the average person six gallons each time!
4) Use water at lower temperatures.
Did you know that roughly 15 percent of your energy bill goes to heating your water? The first step you can take in reducing the water-related energy you use is turning down the thermostat on your hot water heater. Between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit is more than warm enough. You may also want to insulate your water tank. There are inexpensive wraps available that help hold the heat in, which means your equipment won't have to work as hard. You can also switch to washing your clothes with cold water. Your clothes will be just as clean as if you washed them with hot water, but you'll save yourself up to about $60 per year.
5) Be a smart driver.
We all want to get places on time. But speeding and aggressive acceleration will end up costing you. Driving more than 55 miles per hour forces your car to use more energy on wind resistance than anything else. Driving at 75 miles per hour instead of 55 will cost you an extra 25% in fuel! Other ways to save on fuel? Turn off the air conditioner, get rid of the stuff on your roof rack and the unnecessary weight inside your car, and stop idling!
6) Buy Energy Star products.
Appliances with the Energy Star label on them have met the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency's efficiency guidelines. Everything from TVs and cell phones to refrigerators and air conditioners can have this important label. These products can save you incredible amounts of money in the long run, as the energy cost for the product's lifespan will be considerably less than a product that does not qualify, plus Energy Star products are tax deductible!
7) Maintain your equipment.
Cleaning or replacing dirty filters in your air conditioner or furnace will make your equipment much more efficient. Clean filters let air flow freely. Dirty filters block airflow and make your equipment work harder to achieve the same result. Not only will you pay more money to run dirty equipment, but its lifespan will also be shortened.
8) Weatherize your home.
Start by sealing up any leaks around windows and doors that may let heat escape in the winter and your air conditioning escape during the summer. In the summer, close your shades to avoid letting sun (and also heat) inside. In the winter, keep them open to allow the sun to naturally warm your home. You may also want to check into how efficient your windows are- efficient windows and secondary windows can lower heating and cooling bills as much as 30 percent!
9) Control your temperature.
First, get a programmable thermostat. This will allow you to raise or lower the temperature of your home when no one is in it. In the winter, you can lower the temperature a few degrees and have it set to warm back up just before you get home. Did you know that turning the thermostat just one degree down when it's set between 60 and 70 degrees will save you 5 percent? Set the thermostat at the lowest temperature you're comfortable with in the winter (even if it means putting on an extra sweater or blanket) and you'll save big! In the summer, use fans as much as possible as they cost less than running AC. And in any season, don't heat or cool unused rooms! Close the doors and vents to these rooms so that the energy you're using is as efficient as possible.
10) Do some landscaping.
You can save yourself a couple hundred dollars a year by being smart with your landscaping. Plant trees around your house in areas that will provide shade from the sun in the summer months. These trees should be ones that lose their leaves and let the sun warm your home in the winter.
These easy, inexpensive tips are a great way to save yourself a nice chunk of money while still being good to the environment. With these great perks, what excuse do you have not to use them?