GREEN HOME - Even if you rent an apartment, townhouse, or a home, you canmake a big difference, too! These tips will show you how to be moreenergy efficient and save energy, money, and reduce the risks ofglobal warming. If there are things you can't change on your own,share these tips and encourage your landlord to help you make achange for the better.
1. Lighting is one of the easiest places to start saving energy.
Remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room.Turning off just one 60-watt incandescent bulb that would otherwiseburn eight hours a day can save about $15 per year.
Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures or thebulbs in them with ENERGY STAR qualified lights can save more than$65 a year in energy costs. ENERGY STAR qualified compactfluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) provide high-quality light output,use 75% less energy, and last 6–10 times longer than standardincandescent light bulbs, saving money on energy bills andreplacement costs.
2. Considering purchasing a room air conditioner?
In the winter, be sure to insulate room air conditioners fromthe outside with a tight-fitting a/c unit cover, available at yourlocal home improvement center or hardware store. This keeps heatedair from escaping outside. Alternately, you can remove the windowunit in the winter months to prevent energy losses.
Be sure the window unit fits tightly in the window so outdoorair is not getting in.
3. If possible, install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your home's temperature settings when you're away or sleeping.
When used properly, a programmable thermostat with its fourtemperature settings can save up to $150 a year in energy costs.Proper use means setting the thermostat at energy-savingtemperatures without overriding that setting. You should also setthe "hold" button at a constant energy-saving temperature whenyou're away or on vacation.
4. Many consumer electronics products use energy even when switched off.
Consumer electronics play an increasingly larger role in yourhome's energy consumption, accounting for 15 percent of householdelectricity use.
Unplug any battery chargers or power adapters when not in use(like your cell phone charger!).
Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point whenyou are done using equipment.
Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often usea small amount of electricity. For home office equipment, thisstand-by or “phantom” power load can range from a fewwatts to as much as 20 or even 40 watts for each piece ofequipment. Using a power strip for your computer and all peripheralequipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply fromthe power source, eliminating standby power consumption.
5. A ten minute shower can use less water than a full bath.
With a new 2.5 gallon-per-minute (low-flow) shower head, a10-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water, saving youfive gallons of water over a typical bath. A new showerhead alsowill save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity— beating out both the bath and an old-fashionedshowerhead.
To avoid moisture problems, control humidity in your bathroom byrunning your ventilating fan during and 15 minutes after showersand baths.
6. Make sure all air registers are clear of furniture so that air can circulate freely.
If your home has radiators, place heat-resistant reflectorsbetween radiators and walls. In the winter, this will help heat theroom instead of the wall.
7. During cold weather, take advantage of the sun's warmth by keeping drapes open during daylight hours.
To keep out the heat of the summer sun, close window shades anddrapes in warm weather.
8. Save water by scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before loading in the dishwasher.
Run your dishwasher with a full load and use the air-dry optionif available.
Rinsing dirty dishes before loading your dishwasher uses a lotof water and energy. Most dishwashers today can thoroughly cleandishes that have had food scraped, rather than rinsed, off —the wash cycle and detergent take care of the rest. To make themost efficient use of your dishwasher's energy and waterconsumption, run the dishwasher only when enough dirty dishes haveaccumulated for a full load.
9. Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible.
To save water, try to wash full loads or, if you must wash apartial load, reduce the level of water appropriately.
Hot water heating accounts for about 90 percent of the energyyour machine uses to wash clothes — only 10 percent goes toelectricity used by the washer motor. Depending on the clothes andlocal water quality (hardness), many homeowners can effectively dolaundry exclusively with cold water, using cold water laundrydetergents. Switching to cold water can save the average householdmore than $40 annually (with an electric water heater) and morethan $30 annually (with a gas water heater).
Washing full loads can save you more than 3,400 gallons of watereach year.
10. Don't over dry your clothes.
If your dryer has a moisture sensor that will automatically turnthe machine off when clothes are done, use it to avoid over drying.Remember to clean the lint trap before every load. Dry full loads,or reduce drying time for partial loads.
It's easy to over dry your clothes, if one setting is used forvarious fabric types. Try to dry loads made up of similar fabrics,so the entire load dries just as the cycle ends. Many dryers comewith energy-saving moisture or humidity sensors that shut off theheat when the clothes are dry. If you don't have this feature, tryto match the cycle length to the size and weight of the load. Adryer operating an extra 15 minutes per load can cost you up to$34, every year.
The lint trap is an important energy saver. Dryers work bymoving heated air through wet clothes, evaporating and then ventingwater vapor outside. If the dryer cannot provide enough heat, ormove air sufficiently through the clothes, they will take longer todry, and may not dry at all. One of the easiest things you can doto increase drying efficiency is to clean the lint trap before eachand every load. This step also can save you up to $34 eachyear.
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