In today’s world, there are hundreds of reasons for everyone to save energy. From the rising costs of electricity to the damage inflicted on the environment by energy waste, future generations are counting on everyone here today to conserve more, drill less, and recycle as much as possible. Read on to find tips on how to go green, including a variety of simple ways to save energy with advice on how to use less electricity, heat and water.
The Importance of Going Green
The world is going to go green. While it isn’t necessarily happening overnight, people throughout the U.S. and abroad are gradually coming to the realization that green energy is the best thing for this planet.
So what does it mean to be green? Though initially intended to invoke nature, the term “green” has come to symbolize everything that involves renewable energy, eco-friendly policies and chemical-free farming. The reasons to go green are more than obvious to anyone who pays attention to the scientific consensus on climate change.
The growing spate of natural disasters around the world is among the warning signs of shifting weather patterns caused by human activity. If serious action isn’t taken on this matter over the next few decades, some of the world’s largest coastal cities could be underwater by the next century.
65 Easy Ways to Be More Energy-Efficient
The following tips will show you how to use less electricity while keeping your house as cool as needed during the warm months of summer.
1. Switch the direction of your ceiling fan to counter-clockwise for the hotter months, but run it in the normal direction at lower speeds during winter.
2. Close all windows and shut all exterior doors while running the air conditioner.
3. Only run kitchen and bathroom fans when completely necessary.
4. Keep your thermostat set to the “auto” position. When it’s left on at all times, it runs air throughout the day.
5. Don’t let the sun rays bake your home. Place blinds, drapes, and shades in front of your windows. If possible, apply awnings over the outside of your windows. Also consider planting a tree in front of any window that faces the morning or midday positions of the sun.
6. Prevent outside air from leaking into your house through porous walls. For insulation, place injection mold foam into the wall cavities.
7. Have your air conditioner tuned up each spring; when the AC lags, it can end up consuming more energy.
8. Keep the interior doors in your house open during the hotter months. This allows cooler air to flow through each room.
9. Inspect your chimney, roof and windowsills for cracks, holes or gaps. These are the kinds of openings that let inside air leak out and vice versa.
10. Light colors are key to a cooler house in the summer. Select light interior wall paints to reflect heat within your rooms, as well as light-colored curtains that will block out sun rays while letting in sunlight so you can keep the lights off during daytime.
11. During hours when a room is unoccupied, close any air vents that might be in that room, especially if you have a centralized AC system.
12. Have at least one ceiling fan in every room, not just the living room. Ceiling fans can cut temperatures down by 3 to 4 degrees, and they consume no more electricity than regular light bulbs.
13. Get a programmable thermostat installed so you can adjust your household temperature from anywhere during all hours of the day.
There are many simple ways to be more energy efficient while keeping your house as warm as you need during winter, including:
14. Choose carpeting over hardwood floors or place rugs down on uncarpeted floors. Carpeting adds warmth to a room, especially in houses that lack floor insulation.
15. Heat up your rooms slowly. This will help cut energy costs. When you instantly blast the heat pumps, it consumes a lot more energy by activating the heat strips.
16. Find the lowest comfortable temperature for your household and try not to exceed that level. With each degree you bring the temperature down, you can trim off 1 percent from your monthly energy costs.
17. Lower the setting of your thermostat during hours when you’re sleeping or away from home.
18. Have a glass door installed on your fireplace.
19. Keep furniture away from air vents.
20. Replace the filters in your heaters on a monthly basis for maximum performance.
21. Allow your HVAC system enough space to breath. Don’t place objects in front or on top of the unit.
22. If you own a portable heater, restrict its use to when and where you need it for on-the-spot heating. When left to run round-the-clock, a 1,500-watt heater can seriously run up your bills.
23. Set your thermostat to the nearest comfortable temperature to the one currently outside. Heating a home at 65 degrees is much less expensive than 75 degrees when the outside temperature is 45 degrees.
24. Lower the setting of your thermostat every day before you go off to work or to run errands, but don’t shut it off completely.
25. If you leave for a vacation during the holiday season, keep the thermostat set to 60 degrees for the duration of your absence.
Wondering how to lower your energy bill with all of the appliances in your house? The following tips are among the easiest ways to save energy and money at the same time.
26. Microwaves use less energy. When reheating leftovers, use a microwave instead of the stove or oven.
27. Keep the temperature of your refrigerator set within the 30-42 degrees range.
28. If cold air emits from the closed door of your refrigerator or if condensation appears near the edges, repair the seals to the door.
29. Dust the coils on the back of your refrigerator when you do spring cleaning.
30. Fill up your freezer. It consumes less energy that way. If you don’t buy many freezable foods, consider filling the empty space in your freezer with frozen water containers.
31. Don’t leave your clothing in the dryer longer than necessary. Doing so not only consumes more energy, it also leaves clothes wrinkled.
32. Select only the most energy-efficient appliances for your kitchen and laundry room. Not only will you pay less on your energy bills, you’ll also have a more environmentally friendly household due to the reduced energy consumption.
33. Do several loads of laundry in the same afternoon. This will stop your dryer from coming to a complete cool-down and having to warm all the way up again for a new drying cycle.
34. Wash light and heavy-fabric clothes in separate loads. This makes it easier to dry clothes only for as long as needed. A further way to ease up on the dryer is to let light-fabric items hang dry.
35. Whenever possible, fill your washing machine to maximum capacity. If you don’t have as many clothes to wash in a particular load, adjust the water level accordingly.
36. Direct the ventilation of your dryer outdoors to relieve some of the strain on your AC.
37. Allow formal clothing items to hang dry on a rack. This will prevent them from wrinkling and make them look better.
38. Between each drying cycle, remove the lint from the filter. This is necessary to keep the machine operating effectively.
39. Choose “economy mode” when running the dishwasher. This will save on water and energy.
40. Once your dishwasher has finished the washing portion of a cycle, turn it off, open the door, and let the dishes air dry. This will save energy that would otherwise be consumed during the drying portion. It will also prevent the machine from making the kitchen area hot.
41. When cooking something in the oven, always keep the door shut for as much of the duration as possible. Every time you open the door just to peek at the food, it can dilute the cooking temperature by 25% or more.
42. In the months of summer, use the grill whenever possible. The oven will only create excess heat in your house that will then require more energy from the AC, which in turn could cause your energy bills to balloon.
43. Of all the metals, copper is the best heat conductor. Therefore, you can cook things faster and get more efficiency from your stove if you use pots and pans with copper bottoms.
44. Don’t allow dirt and grime to accumulate on the stove drip pans, because when they’re clean, more heat gets reflected upward and things cook faster.
45. As your food gets just about done cooking, turn off the burners and allow the remaining heat to finish the job.
46. Use a lid when cooking with a pot. This reduces cooking time by trapping more air inside the pot.
47. Align pots with burners of the same size. A big pot takes longer to cook on a small burner, while heat gets lost and energy wasted when a small pot is used on a larger burner.
Here are a handful of tips on how to be more energy efficient and still enjoy warm water when you wish.
48. Once the kitchen or bathroom fan has served its purpose, don’t allow it to run idly. Turn it off.
49. Wash all laundry loads with cold water. The detergent will clean everything just the same, and it’ll trim your water-heating bill by roughly 40 cents for each load.
50. Inspect your hot water pipes annually for holes, slits or signs of wear. Even the slightest leaks can put a strain on your energy costs.
51. Shut off the water heater before you leave for a vacation. Once you return, it should only take about an hour to heat the water back up to its preselected temperature. Better yet, get a timer installed on your heater that will shut it off when you’re away and power it back when you return.
52. Conserve hot water by taking shorter showers. One way to make each shower shorter is to skip lathering up your legs with soap. Just let the soap trickle down from your upper body to clean your lower half.
53. Wrap insulation around the water heater and along the first few feet of the water pipes.
54. Lower the temperature of your water heater down by 20 percent. It’ll slash your bills while still providing plenty of warmth for showers and dishwashing.
55. If you do insist on washing your whites with hot water, always make it a full load.
56. Mount low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators in your kitchen and bathroom to lessen your household water usage.
57. Whenever a faucet has a dripping problem, have it fixed immediately. Leaky faucets not only waste water, they can also waste hot water energy and drive up your bills.
Have you ever wondered how to lower your electric bill and still surf the net and keep all of your devices charged and ready? Here’s how:
58. Connect all nearby appliances to a single power strip, and turn that power strip off when none of the appliances are in use.
59. Energy “save” mode still uses up energy. The 30 seconds it could take to power up your computer or printer is well worth the amount you’ll save on your energy costs by forgoing the option of leaving things on 24/7 standby.
60. For times when you step away from your computer for a half-hour or more, leave it programmed to go into hibernation mode, which saves a lot more energy than an outdated screen saver.
61. If all you’ve used are PCs, consider switching to laptops. They’re lighter, portable and you can use them on your couch or in bed, as well as out in public. Furthermore, laptops use less energy than standard computers.
62. Don’t leave battery chargers plugged in when they’re not actively charging devices. Even when idle, a charger will still draw power as long as it’s connected to a source.
One of the simpler ways to save energy is to make your windows powerful enough to stop any unwanted air from passing through.
63. Don’t let incoming sunrays fade your posters, dull your upholstery, or bake certain spots of your house. Install high-performance windows in all the rooms of your house that face the sun, along with solar screens and films.
64. In order to ensure any new windows you buy will be optimal for years to come, check for a seal of performance label by the National Fenestration Rating Council.
65. If you’ve been mulling over the purchase of a new AC unit, consider the benefits of high-performance windows, which — depending on the peak temperatures of your area — might override your need for an air conditioner.
Go Green With Westchester Modular Homes
Westchester Modular Homes builds energy-efficient houses for the green world of tomorrow. Based in Wingdale, N.Y., we’re the first modular home factory on the East Coast to be Energy Star certified. Each one of our LEED-certified homes is built to the efficiency standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Carrying out our constructions within an environmentally controlled setting, we use recycled materials and slash waste while providing customers with homes that use less energy and water. Our green, modular homes allow residents to save up to 15 percent on their monthly utility costs. With R-19 Wall and R-38 Ceiling Insulation, each Westchester Home is built to resist humidity in the summer and heat loss during winter.
When you move into a Westchester Modular Home, you get:
• Effective insulation in the floors, walls and attics
• High-performance windows with protective coating
• Tight construction and ducts to seal out holes, drafts and noise
• An efficient heating and cooling equipment system for year-round comfort
• Efficient products, including ventilation fans, compact fluorescent bulbs, lighting fixtures and kitchen appliances
You also get peace of mind knowing your home is up to 30 percent more efficient than regular homes on the market. With a Westchester Modular Home, you could save hundreds of dollars annually over the course of time that you choose to stay with your property.
Visit Westchester Modular Homes online today to learn more about how to save electricity, how to go green, how to lower your electric bill, how to use less electricity, and how to be more energy efficient with one of our green, Energy Star and LEED-certified homes.