Small Ways Reduce Energy Usage and Save Money

With the rising costs of energy, fuel and food many of us are searching for ways to go green. Others are more concerned with reducing the negative impact our daily habits have on the environment in which we live. Here are a few painless ways to get in the green swing of things without the measure of suffering we fear will take place if we give up some conveniences we now enjoy.

insulated home window
insulated home window

According to the United States Department of Energy, the average American family spends at least $2,000 every year on home energy bills. Many of us who have larger families, spend far more than that to keep the lights on. One way to reduce your energy bills, is to consider the way the systems in your home work together to produce energy. For example, a poorly insulated home will be costly to heat no matter how energy efficient your top-of-the-line furnace is. To be sure you have the proper amount of insulation, check your attic. If your existing insulation is level or below your floor joists, you need to add more. Leaky window frames and doorways are a common cause of high energy bills. The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, recommends sealing any gaps where air can leak into your home with caulk or spray foam.

During our daily lives, we can find small ways to use less energy and save money. Lowering your hot water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit will save you money, as will taking shorter showers instead of running a bath tub full of hot water. When doing dishes, only use your dishwasher when you have a full load. Consider air drying your dishes instead of leaving them in the dishwasher to dry on high heat. Cell phone chargers, televisions, computers and DVD players all use energy while they are plugged into an outlet, even if they are on standby. By plugging your electronics into one power strip, you can easily flip the switch to turn them all off at once. Using Energy Star approved products such as light bulbs, electronics and appliances will save you money throughout the year. These products bear the Energy Star seal and have met strict energy efficiency guidelines.

By making these few small changes, you can save some money on your energy bills and lessen the impact on our energy resources. Taking the whole house approach to energy usage is the key to accomplishing this goal. Additional ways to save energy can be obtained by requesting a home energy audit from your energy provider. Technicians are trained to spot even the smallest ways energy usage can be saved, which will benefit you every month when you pay your electric bill.

Finally, don’t forget to use reusable shopping bags.  They save you money and save the environment too.

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