Saturday, October 15, 2011

31 Days of Green Living day 15: reduce household energy

Cute Dutch Colonial
By the way, this would be my dream home…I am completely in love with Dutch Colonials! Not to mention smaller homes have smaller energy bills!!!!

Despite skyrocketing fuel prices and diminishing resources, household energy use and its consequential pollution continue to climb.

So, let’s talk about energy savings….

“Turn off the lights”
We all remember hearing that command from our parents. It’s one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do to be green.Now, as we repeat it to our kids (and ourselves), we understand its significance better.

Using a third of the energy required by their incandescent counterparts, Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) still do wonders for your budget and the environment, but the new generation of these energy savers doesn't require you to sacrifice an ounce of ambience. For a meaningful environmental impact, Energy Star recommends replacing at least five high-use bulbs. If every American household made the change, we could collectively save nearly $8 billion annually and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road for a year. The wide selection of bulbs now available makes it easy to take on the challenge.

You probably already know you can save energy by plugging chargers and other "vampire" electronics into a power strip with an on/off switch. But how often do you remember to flip that switch? Try buying a Smart Strip that turns itself off when it senses that appliances are idle.


Programmable Thermostat

Reduce temperature in home by just a couple degrees and more at night to add up to significant savings. Put on an extra layer and cuddle under blankets to stay warm. I have a friend who wears t-shirts in the winter in his house, but keeps it at 75 degrees so he isn’t cold….what?????

Use space heaters in cold rooms instead of turning up the thermostat.

Open the shades in the winter during the day and keep them closed in the summer. Plant deciduous trees on the hottest side of your home. The leaves will shade your home in the summer, but let light shine in the winter. You can save 25 percent on heat in the winter and air-conditioning in the summer just by using the added insulation of window shades.

After using your oven, leave the door open to let the heat from the oven escape and heat your kitchen. I especially love doing this when I am chilly during those cold, winter months! (If you have a convection oven, this is even more important to do since the fan runs for quite a while after it’s turned off until it cools off-doing this cuts down on the fan running as long).

Apply Weather Stripping-A 1/8-inch gap along the front door's threshold is the draft equivalent of having a two-inch hole in the wall. Home sealing (weather stripping windows and doors) can reduce your energy bill by 10 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Appliance Efficiency

*Look for Energy Star rating when purchasing new appliances*

If it's an older model, vacuum the coils (usually located either in the back or underneath, behind a removable plate), and dislodge caked grease with a stiff brush.
Keep the fridge at 36 to 38 degrees and the freezer at 3 to 0 degrees.
Make sure the door seal is tight. If a dollar bill can slip through the rubber gasket, replace it.
Remove clutter from the top of the fridge, and position it away from the stove or radiator.

Keep freezer full. The fuller it is, the less energy it uses to keep food frozen.

Dry loads in succession to take advantage of residual heat, and make sure loads are always full.
Clean the lint trap after each load.

Water heater
Set the thermostat to 120 degrees instead of the standard 130 to 140 degrees.
If the tank is warm to the touch, wrap it in an insulating blanket (sold at most home improvement stores).

Also visit for more tips.

2 shaklee banner for fall

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