"Going Green" is an effective way to be efficient, conserve natural resources, and save money.
Just because you've always gone about energy efficiency one way, doesn't mean that way is best for you and your family. We will show you 10 ways to change the way you "go green".
Unknown to many, lowering the thermostat on your hot water heater from about 145 degrees to 120 degrees could save you more than $20 a year if you heat water with gas and more than $50 if your water heater is electric. Also, with the installation of an under sink water heater in your kitchen, your could save countless amounts of money and use less energy. These save money and energy by heating the water right before it hits the sink- that way, as water travels through the pipes, there's less heat loss!
If you're concerned about killing bacteria with hot water, it's actually more effective to run the "Heat Dry" option on your dishwasher than to attempt to kill bacteria with water. Similarly, the water temperature of your dishwasher is not what kills that bacteria, it's the detergent. With these adjustments you will most definitely reduce your home energy costs.
With both central and window air conditioning units, it's extremely important to frequently clean their air filters and seal any leaks in central air conditioning ducts. This alone will reduce some of your energy costs.
If you are really looking to save money and reduce your carbon footprint, investing in a central air-conditioning unit with a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 14 or higher is a good idea. This could drastically reduce your carbon-dioxide emissions, even by more than 1,500 pounds a year! If you use a window air-conditioning unit in your home, consider replacing it with a new unit that meets ENERGY STAR® qualifications. In fact, most utility companies will offer you rebates for using ENERGY STAR® rated products. This change could reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by more than 100 pounds a year.
Quick starts and sudden braking waste valuable gas that you just spent money on. By gradually speeding up and stopping you will get better mileage on your car. In addition, driving your vehicle 55 mph instead of 65 mph can improve your mileage by about 15 percent and reduce emissions considerably. Tires care also has a valuable effect on your car if they are not properly taken care of. If you keep your tires properly inflated to the maximum recommended pressure you'll save money on repairs, the tires will wear evenly, and your brake pads will have a longer life!
The truth about idling is that if you are planning on a wait longer than 30 seconds, it would be best to turn off your engine and restart it when you are ready to go. Letting your engine idle for more than this time will burn more gasoline than restarting the engine. Another way to keep away from idling is to park the car and go inside instead of sitting at a drive-thru for several minutes. This will not only save gas, but also your time because you will most likely get your order sooner than everyone sitting in line.
Do multiple errands at the same time and plan out your trip ahead of time. Consolidate drives to locations that are close to each other. If possible, park your car in one spot and walk when you get there-think of it as a double whammy savings—less gas and a free workout!
Driving yourself may be the most convenient option, but biking, walking taking a bus, or carpooling are all excellent ways to save gas and money. If used on a daily commute, the average scooter consumes $7 of gas a week- what a great option! These cool 49cc scooter are zipping along the roadways in many places nowadays!
A great alternative to a gasoline mower is a rechargeable electric mower that offers the same features as its gasoline counterpart. Not only do these not use gas, but they are quiet enough for you to listen to your iPod while mowing the lawn. Another huge environmental advantage of purchasing an electric lawn mower or a low-cost reel mower is that they will not release high amounts of NOx, a main ingredient in smog.
It's easy to save money and energy when doing laundry regardless of the type of machine you own. Using cold water instead of warm or hot, running only full loads, and drying two or more loads in a row to make use of the heat already in the dryer are all practical changes you can make to do your laundry more efficiently. If you can, skip the dryer because your clothes will last longer and keep their shape better- especially those delicate summer fabrics.
Looking to really save energy with your laundry? Horizontal-axis (front-loader) washing machines use far less water and 60 percent less energy than top-loaders. Investing in one of these will most definitely save you money on energy bills in the long run.
Check the seals around the doors to see if they are leaking—your food will last longer and your fridge won't work as hard if those seals function optimally. In fact, if you can slide a piece of paper between the fridge and the door seal, those seals should be replaced. Also, don't locate this particular appliance in direct sunlight or next to the stove or dishwasher.
Here's the science behind the "Stack Effect": due to air pressure, the lowest level in your home sucks in outside air and that forces the outside air up through the rest of your home. If your crawlspace has exterior vents and a dirt floor, this could be happening in your home. That being said, your heating and air conditioning system might be working overtime costing you more energy and money.
By encapsulating your crawlspace, you can increase the overall health and energy efficiency of your home. No longer with your crawlspace be a source of cold outdoor air in the winter and hot, humid air coming up through the floor in the summer.
If you'd like to know more about the science behind this tip, please contact us for a free copy of "Crawlspace Science" by Lawrence Janesky.
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