Save Energy and Money with the Right Purchases, Products and Practices

Going green needn’t be expensive or a huge sacrifice. Many green products don’t just conserve energy but save money too. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the home. From a high-tech dishwasher with a soil sensor feature that knows when dirty dishes need extra hot water and when they don’t, to having reusable shopping bags on hand when it’s shopping day, the right home products and the right practices will not only make the planet a bit greener but will add a bit of green to the family budget too.
When it comes to saving energy, American homes get a mixed scorecard. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), while appliances have become more efficient, saving significant amounts of energy, the increased number of electronics that are now used in homes has neutralized those savings. The EIA reports that 50 percent of American households have three or more televisions sets. Around 40 percent have more than one computer.

Among the worst household energy wasters are the rechargers that people tend to keep plugged in even when they’re not in use. With 44 percent of American households owning at least four devices that use rechargers, investing in a solar recharger is a greener option. Solar rechargers can be left on the dashboard of a car or a sunny windowsill when not in use. The devices use the power of the sun to recharge items like mobile devices and MP3 players.

There are a number of ways to reduce a home’s heating and cooling costs, from insulating the attic to weather sealing windows. One of the most affordable options is a programmable thermostat. These inexpensive devices can be programmed to turn off when the family is away and turn on in time to have the home cool or warm again when the family returns. Just making that one adjustment can save 10 percent on more on energy bills.

While it’s always advisable to purchase products with an Energy Star label when it comes to buying appliances, people needn’t spend one penny to begin making their homes more energy-efficient. Cooking a meal in a crock-pot takes less energy than cooking the same meal in the oven. Opening window coverings on south-facing windows during cold days allows sunlight to help warm the room. Cleaning refrigerator coils keeps the appliance running efficiently.

From replacing furnace filters every month during the winter to reduce heating costs to using power strips so that a number of electronics can be switched off all at once, even small changes in purchases and practices can add up to big savings, both for the pocketbook and the planet.

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