Green Your HomeIt may seem like the global warming problem is bigger than the solution, but this is simply not true. Tried-and-true technologies like solar power are being renewed and updated to our modern world, becoming more accessible and affordable by the minute. Buying and using these products makes an instant impact on the world we live in, and the sooner we all make the switch, the better chance we have.
1. Switch to solar energy.
Heating your home and home water supply is one of the most significant energy drains the average American is responsible for. Solar power is an obvious, efficient solution. Read more about solar and its benefits here, and if you're interested, consider buying one of our solar water heating units.
2. Use energy efficient appliances and electronics.
The appliances and lighting in your home use more energy to operate and cost more money than you might think. Nearly 50% of your energy costs come from the appliances and lighting in your home. But there are ways to help reduce the cost and save energy. This figure does not even include the cost of water to run the appliances and the cost to heat the water for dishwashers, clothes washers, etc. Buying energy efficient appliances will significantly reduce the cost and energy used in operation. While these appliances may cost more up front, they will save you money in the long run and will pay for themselves in no time. You will also be helping the environment by using less energy and therefore emitting less carbon dioxide into the air.
Even if you do not wish to replace your appliances with more energy efficient ones, there are other ways you can save energy. First, consider the placement of your appliance. Putting your refrigerator further from your oven will help it use less energy to sufficiently cool your food. Keeping refrigerators out of direct sunlight will also ease the cooling process and use less energy.
Regularly cleaning condenser coils in your refrigerator can also help to improve the efficiency of the appliance. Performing this routine cleaning every six to twelve months is what is recommended for maximum performance and efficiency. Also, it is important to check the seals on the doors of refrigerators to be sure that no cool air is escaping and causing the refrigerator to have to work harder to cool your food.
To reduce the energy used in the operation of your oven, try using the self-cleaning feature on your oven less often. This feature uses unnecessary energy. Any process that can be performed easily without the use of electricity should generally be performed manually.
3. Insulate and weather strip your home.
Another way to save energy in your home is by insulating and weather stripping your home. During cold weather, your home will have more difficulty warming up if there are gaps or places where the air can get outside your house. The same is true about your air conditioning during the summer.
There are many places, even some you may not realize, where indoor-outdoor air circulation can take place. Some of the more obvious places are around window and door frames, around vents and fans, and from cracks or spaces between bricks, siding, and your home's foundation. But other places that you should check for air leakage include around mail chutes in doors, dryer vents (where they pass through your wall), and cable TV and telephone lines. Caulking can be used to seal a number of these leaks, but you may want to have your home inspected by a professional and have a service performed to seal any leaks that may be allowing indoor-outdoor air circulation.
In addition, making sure that you home is properly insulated is very important. If your insulation is poor, it becomes much easier for air to escape through your walls, ceiling, and even the floor, especially if you have a crawl space under your home. Insulating your home not only saves energy and helps to improve the quality of our environment, but it will also make your home more comfortable to live in. You will also save money on the air conditioning and heating of your home by allowing less air to pass through your walls and ceiling.
4. Switch to fluorescent lights.
Switching to fluorescent bulbs in your home will not only save electricity but it will also reduce the number of times that you have to replace the bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs last nearly ten times longer than normal incandescent light bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs also use between 65 and 70 percent less electricity to operate the same lamp or light that was previously being operating with an incandescent bulb. You will quickly find that even though fluorescent bulbs are more expensive to purchase, they will more than pay for themselves. The extended life of the bulb reduces future costs associated with replacing burned out bulbs. You will also save money on your electric bill over time. While this is only a small step that you can take, if we each take a small step, we will all be taking a giant step together.
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