Conserving Energy in Your Own Home

OK. So we’ve talked about green energy practices on a global scale, but you might be wondering what YOU can do to help save energy and non-renewable resources in your own home. Well there’s a ton you can do, and I’ll go over some of them now!

Let’s start with some simple tips, tricks, and habits that won’t take much effort at all:

  • So you’ve probably all heard about unplugging electronics and appliances when not in use. And it’s true; just turning your computer off when you’re not using it can save $75 a year. But it can be inconvenient to unplug everything. So instead, just get a strip with multiple outlets so you can just flip a switch to turn them all off at once!
  • When winter comes, you might be tempted to turn the heat up right away. But if you gradually raise the thermostat, you will save energy, because quickly raising it activates the heat strip, which uses tons of energy.
  • That leads me to the actual ideal temperature on your thermostat. In the winter, during the day set it between 68-70 and at night between 65-68. And if you’re going away for the holidays, leave it at 60.
  • If you use a ceiling fan to help cool off, make sure you turn it off when you leave, because they don’t cool off the room.
  • If you’re going to have to do several loads of laundry, do them consecutively. That way the dryer won’t have to reheat between loads.
  • We all love barbequing during the summer, so here’s an excuse to do it more often. Using the oven during the summer makes the AC work harder, so go outside and use the grill instead.

    This chart shows the most likely places that air can leak from your home. You can save energy by making sure these areas in your home are properly insulated and don’t have leaks.

Here are some bigger things that you can do if you’re willing to spend a little money, or if you’re already having some work done on the house:

  • If you’re having the landscape done, make sure you consider where you are placing the trees. If you plan it right, you can save $100-$250 per year on your energy bill.
  • Do your research and replace the windows with high-performance windows.
  • If you’re replacing the roof, look for a reflective coating and an energy-star label.
  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Installing solar panels is probably the first thing you think of when you think of a renewable energy source in your home. But there are also smaller wind and hydropower systems that could work on your property. If you are considering installing a renewable energy source to your home, add these to your list of considerations and do some further research to see what the best option for your home is.

I hope some of these tips where helpful! Another great way to see how you stand in terms of home energy use is to use a carbon footprint calculator. There are tons you can find to use, or you can check out http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/ind-calculator.html . This calculator not only shows you your household emissions, but it goes a step further and show you where you can reduce your energy bill and helps you create a plan to do so.

For more tips, check out

https://www.progress-energy.com/carolinas/home/save-energy-money/energy-saving-tips-calculators/100-tips.page

http://energy.gov/articles/top-11-things-you-didnt-know-about-saving-energy-home-summer-edition

http://energy.gov/articles/solar-wind-hydropower-home-renewable-energy-installations

By: Kate Dolan

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