Having a home that uses as little energy as possible is not only good for our planet and its future, but it drops our utility bills. You may be thinking, how can I decrease the amount of energy my home and family uses? Most of us already think we are pretty energy savvy. Here are five easy ways to aid in using less energy.
Wash clothes in cold water. Switch the temperature on your clothes washing machine to cold. Heating your water in anyway takes energy. Washing in unheated water will also lessen the color bleeding mishaps that can sometimes happen, saving you money on ruined clothing. Cold water will clean your laundry and cost you less.
Full loads only please! When running your washing machine, dryer or automatic dish washer, be sure to fill them up! These machines are designed to run best at a ‘full’ capacity. Running your dishwasher with only a few pieces in it uses the same energy as running a full load. Even though most washing machines have multiple load sizes to choose from, the most energy efficient size to run is the large setting. Do not over or under load your clothes dryer. Over loading it can cause damage to the drum and cost you money on repairs or decrease the life of your dryer. Under loading it is wasteful because your dryer needs to heat up to dry the load no matter what size it is. As always, follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for all your appliances.
- Repair or seal cracks and crevices around your home. Your home’s exterior has many places where air can move freely in and out. Such places include:
- Basement doors
- Stink pipes
- Electrical entrances
- Cable & phone entrances
- Air ducts
- HVAC units
- Foundation walls
These places are often overlooked. Use caulking or expanding spray foam to seal up these culprits. It also would be best to replace windows and doors, if you can. As you are looking around for places to seal up, check around your windows and doors. Windows and doors can warp and crack over the years causing them to be leaky. Some problems with older doors and windows can be repaired. Gaskets and weather stripping can crush and tear over the years allowing air to move freely where it shouldn’t. You may be able to replace these parts. If this is not an option then consider replacing them. New vinyl replacement windows are a sure bet to increasing your home’s energy efficiency. Being custom made, they will fit perfectly in your openings and stop air from sneaking in and out. A new exterior fiberglass or steel door unit will also stop air from sneaking in and out and increase your home’s curb appeal. Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats will remember to keep your temperature consistent when you don’t. You can set these thermostats to go up and down to match your schedule. Saving money and energy will help every household. Following these simple 5 steps should get your family moving in the right direction!