Every year on April 22, we recognize Earth Day. It’s a perfect time to evaluate your carbon footprint and consider ways you can help save energy and, in turn, the planet. These energy-saving tips that we practice and learn on Earth Day are things we can do every day, year-round to help heal and protect our environment. Here are some ways to be energy efficient at home.
- Installing window treatments can help save money in every season. Opening the blinds or curtains during the winter months allows the sun in and add a bit of heat during the day. Of course, closing them at night not only provides needed privacy but also adds one more layer of insulation to the cold evening. During summer months, closing window treatments protects from the sun beating in and making your home hotter (and tempting you to crank down the air conditioner). Plus, curtains and/or blinds can add finishing touches into the décor of your home.
- Controlling the temperature in a few areas of your home can make a big difference, not only in being more energy-efficient but in lowering your utility bills. Clearly, one method of temperature control is at your thermostat. Consider installing a programmable thermostat; keeping the temperature in your home on a schedule can save up to 10% on both heating and cooling expenses. Next, when possible, wash clothes in cold water; it can save close to $60 a year. Finally, check on your water heater. Ensure it’s wrapped with a cover to help retain the heat. Also, setting it at 130 degrees Fahrenheit will help save money and energy.
- Speaking of your water heater, choose appliances with an Energy Star label. Beginning in 1992, Energy Star is a government-back symbol to credit certain appliances as energy efficient. Other appliances to seek out with the Energy Star label include clothes washers, clothes dryers, HVAC systems, light fixtures, refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers. With each appliance that is Energy Star certified, you’ll discover they help save energy, cut costs on your utility bills, and last a little longer.
- In many cases, it’s all about the switches. Sure, there’s switching to Energy Star appliances, but there are lots of savings to be found in light and power switches as well. Turning off lights, electronics and appliances when not in use contributes to energy savings. Even turning off power strips and unplugging devices helps. Switching older light bulbs with LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs offers longer-lasting lights that provide more efficient use of energy.
Incorporating some of these simple habits in your daily life can make every day Earth Day and help add more days to the life of the planet we love!