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Are you taking advantage of significant savings for reducing energy waste and water use in your home? here's some simple tips
Sep 30, 2014
Most people try to be mindful of the environment and the costs of energy required for their home. According to the World Energy Council we could be doing a better job with water conservation and waste management.
The following are significant in helping with saving energy and reducing water and waste in your home:
Clothes drying: Consider air drying laundry using a clothes drying rack or clothes line instead of an electric dryer, particularly in the summer when clothes dry more quickly.
Light switches: Remember to turn off the lights and appliances – like a TV or fan – when you’re not in the room. Use timers for lights you keep on for security, like porch lighting, which will do little to deter intruders during daylight hours.
Thermostat: New high-tech programmable thermostats automatically kick in just before you wake up or come home and can save a lot of energy.
Computers: Most PCs today have useful power-saving features to help reduce energy but even when they’re on sleep mode, they’re still sapping power. In fact, standby power accounts for up to 10% of all home electricity use. If you’re not using your computer, shut it off. And if your iPad (or electric shaver) isn’t recharging, unplug it.
TV: A lot of us have a bad habit of leaving the TV on mute in the background as we go about home activities or take a phone call. It’s wasteful – shut it off!
Light bulbs: Compact fluorescent bulbs use 75% less energy and can last up to 12 times longer than old school incandescent bulbs. Replace them!
Fireplace: If you have one, close the damper when it’s not in use (make sure the fire is completely out and ashes cold) – an open damper lets in cold air in winter.
Fans: Ceiling or floor fans, particularly when you’re asleep, are an excellent way to stay cool in the summer without using air conditioning.
Window coverings: Blinds or curtains aren’t just for privacy – they help a room retain heat in the winter and keep it cool when it’s blazing outside.
Refrigerator: Fridge coils, when covered in dust, grease or lint, cut the appliance’s efficiency by 6%. Carefully pull out your fridge and start wiping!
Hot-water heater: Manufacturers often set your tank at a temperature that makes water scalding hot. Reduce the heater’s setting by a few degrees and see if you notice a difference when you’re showering or washing dishes. If you don’t, try reducing the temperature by a few more degrees. Also consider a blanket for your water heater and insulation for the pipes that carry heated water from the tank into your home. New tankless heaters are even better energy savers – they heat water as you need it, significantly reducing the amount of energy wasted to have hot water continually at the ready.
Here are few more ways to reduce water and waste in your home:
Dishwasher and washing machine: Both these appliances use a lot of water so it’s a good idea to run them only when you have a full load. Running your washing machine with cold water also saves energy and is usually just as effective.
Drip, drip, drip: Dripping faucets and unused running water – like when you’re brushing your teeth – waste about 8 gallons a day. Turn off the tap and inspect your faucets. Fix the leaky ones right away.
Toilets: Most new toilets are designed with low-flow efficiency to converse water. If you don’t want to buy a new one, you can always carefully place a brick into the tank to decrease the reservoir size and, therefore, the amount of water your toilets use.
Reusable containers: These can significantly reduce waste from food and beverage packaging, and they limit use of aluminum foil, plastic wrap and paper. For instance, a glass water bottle can be used practically forever.
Reusable cotton bags: Ideal for groceries or carrying your lunch, cotton bags are durable and reduce the use of plastic bags, which we consume at an alarming rate of a million every minute!
Recycling: We’ve been recycling for decades but it’s amazing how many of us still place non-recyclables into the recycling bin and toss out perfectly recyclable items. Go online or ask your city or town for a list of what you can and cannot recycle and post it near your recycling and garbage bins as a regular reminder.