Save Energy, Save Money and Save the Planet
We know that using energy (electricity, oil, and gas) costs money, but did you also know that the way we generate energy pollutes the air and water? You can save money and have cleaner air just by taking a few simple energy-saving steps!
Change your habits – No Money Needed!
• Turn off lights when not needed
• Come electronics draw energy even when they are not “on.” Turn off or, even better, unplug these energy “vampires” when you aren’t using them.
• Lower your hot water heater to 120 degrees.
• Set your thermostat on 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter.
• Turn fans on in the summer when you are in the room. Turn off when you leave room. They do not lower the temperature only provide wind chill, which feels cooler.
• Adjust ceiling fans to go counterclockwise in summer and clockwise in the winter.
• Open drapes on south facing windows in winter to ass heat to house. Close drapes or shades on west and south facing windows in the summer.
• Recycle your aluminum, glass, paper, and plastic.
In the kitchen:
• A full refrigerator and freezer uses less energy.
• Defrost your freezer to help it run more efficiently.
• Use a toaster or toaster oven when possible, rather than a conventional oven.
• Buy food grown or produced locally. It uses less fuel getting it to market and supports your local farmers.
• Eat less meat/ from start to finish, producing vegetables and grains takes less energy than producing meat.
• If you have a dishwasher, only run it when its full and turn off the drying cycle unless you need it.
• Wash clothes in cold water and hand clothes to dry.
• Wash only full loads of clothes.
• Clean the lint filter and vent on your dryer.
Out and about:
• Take public transportation, walk, or carpool.
• Keep your tires properly inflated.
• Drive the speed limit. (Every 5 mph you drive over 65 mph represents a 7% decrease in fuel efficiency)
• Drive at a steady speed. Avoid rapid acceleration and stopping.
Small Investment – Some Cost, But They Pay Back Quickly:
• Replace your regular light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). These spiral-shaped bulbs cost a little more up front, but they use ¼ of the power and last 6-7 times longer than standard bulbs. Over the life of the bulb, a CFL will save you $35 in energy.
• If you have central heating and air, put in a programmable thermostat. That way you only heat and cool your home when you need to.
• Put motion detectors or light sensors on your outdoor lights so they only come on when needed.
• Add insulation to electric hot water heaters and pipes.
• Install low flow shower heads and faucets to reduce water use.
• Seal any cracks or gaps around windows or doors with caulk or weather stripping.
• Install ceiling fans.
Bigger Investment – Larger Cost, But Bigger Paybacks:
• Get your air ducts sealed – that prevents heated and cooled air from escaping into your attic or crawl space.
• If you need to replace old appliances or electronics, look for ones with blue Energy Star rating.
• If you need to replace your car, find one that gets at least five more miles per gallon than your current car.
• Insulate your attics, walls, and pipes.
(Thanks to Georgia Interfaith Power and Light for providing this information.)