Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Clever Ways to Save Energy

Today, I have a guest post for you.  I would like to welcome Christina Johnson..... 


Christina Johnson works remotely for Elliman Prudential in the NYC rentals market. She is using her journalism major to combine what she loves most, writing and her career. Her specialties include home decor design and DIY home improvement projects.

Clever Ways to Save Energy
Article submitted by Christina Johnson

The former days of merely recycling and composting have been replaced with the modern ways of going green. It is now an entire movement shaping the ways people choose to build their homes and businesses. It influences the resources people use and the cars they buy, but it has also gained a negative reputation for being overly expensive.

It is possible to save the environment while saving money! You and your family can go green without spending too much green. There are many ways you can lower your energy consumption, thus reducing your carbon footprint, without going broke over it. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Use CFLs:
Replace your incandescent energy suckers with compact fluorescent light bulbs - specifically choosing CFLs that are Energy Star certified. Even by only focusing on the light bulbs you use most often, you save up to $100 per year on your energy bill. If you have children too young to reach the light switch or your household frequently forgets to turn out the lights, consider getting motion sensors or timed switches. The key is to keep all unnecessary lights off as often as possible.

Major Appliances:
The hardest workers in your house also happen to be energy monsters: your stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer and furnace. Add in a dishwasher, and you’ve got the entire gang. If you’re preparing to replace any out-dated appliances, be sure to choose a new, Energy Star qualified machine. If this isn’t in the budget, follow these simple steps to save energy and money: wash your clothing in cold water choosing a detergent formulated specifically for the lower temperatures; instead of using the heated dry feature on your dishwasher, open its door to let your dishes air dry; and finally, hire somebody to professionally maintenance your dryer and furnace. The little effort that goes into a good cleaning, will help your appliance last longer and work more efficiently.

HVAC Check-up:
Along with having your appliances checked over, be sure to have your HVAC system serviced every two years. In addition to changing your filters frequently, this will allow your heating and cooling system to run smoother and cleaner.

Low-Flow Update:
While water rules such as turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth help save energy, you can take it a step further by updating your kitchen and bathroom to low-flow faucets. While it doesn’t reduce your water pressure, it does reduce your water consumption - by as much as 50 percent. As easy as screwing the new head into place, this tip is especially great on your monthly utility bill.

Small Changes, Big Impact:
Simple household checks and changes create a major difference in your energy efficiency. Check windows and doors for leaks, and verify your attic and basement are well-insulated. After all, we want to keep our preferred temperature indoors. Go extra green and plant trees in your yard. Not only will you improve your air quality, provide shade in the summer, and block wind in the winter, you will also be giving directly back to the earth making it more beautiful. Finally, when you are remodeling your home, be a picky shopper and only choose furniture that was built using sustainable materials. If you are repainting your walls, steer clear of high-VOC paints that pollute the air with harmful gases.

The changes you make to your home are mostly small and relatively inexpensive, but they create a high, positive impact on the environment. Additionally, they save you money in the long run. What have you and your family done to go green? Please share!

Thank you for an inspiring article, Christina.

I'm afraid to admit, that I don't always give a conscious effort to being green.  My husband and daughter are especially good about it, and after reading this, I would like to  follow their example.

A happy day to each of you!

8 comments:

✿ⒹⒺⒺ✿@ A Lapin Life said...

Hi Gina,

Going green has been easy due to my children learning about it in school.
They seem to know all about it and have been teaching my husband and I. :-)

Dee

Coastal Cottage Dreams said...

Gina:

Thanks for the interesting article. I do use the CFL lights in my home. Since I am moving in a couple of weeks, we just had our HVAC inspected and everything is good!

I know in the past we have always bought Energy Star also.

Fox Hollow Cottage said...

We have been making lots of changes, a little at a time. Our newest will be no paper plates. I stopped using my favorite red plastic SOLO cups a few years ago. It was hard. lol. I had to do a lot more dishes ;) We use the CLF's. Have all Energy Star appliances. Installed new windows, new furnace, low flow toliets and shower heads/faucet.

L'Heure Bleue At Home said...

Very informative! Thanks for dropping by L'Heure Bleue At Home.

Jacqueline said...

With the rising costs of energy we have sure tried to cut back, but now I am cold all of the time! I layer more but we often laugh that it is 70 degrees in the house and we are freezing. What would it really be like to be without heat?!!

jeanetteann said...

we,in our household are extremely concious of carbon omissions and turn everything off,never leaving anything on standby. I fully agree with this worthwhile post.
x jeanetteann

Special 'K' said...

What a great post! If we all did just a little it makes a huge difference. Thanks for sharing. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

Cindy Adkins said...

Oh wow, these are great suggestions!!! Everyone can sure do their part!!!
XO
Cindy

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