4 Tips to Green your Home Energy Usage
One of the most important steps to take in greening your home is to find ways to reduce your energy usage. The energy you use to power your home, unless it comes from a renewable source, directly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution challenges.
✔ Choose efficient appliances and electronics – Energy-efficient appliances and electronics will directly lower your consumption. Be sure to always check if there is an EnergyStar rated option before making a purchase. EnergyStar products use 10-50 percent less energy compared to standard models, and where possible, also reduce paper and water consumption.
✔ Be aware of ‘Power Vampires’ – ‘Power Vampires’ are electronic devices, such as televisions and chargers, that consume electricity whenever they are plugged in, even if they are not in use. Be sure to either plug your electronic devices into power strips (which are turned off when not in use) or simply unplug them from the wall when they are not in use. One of the most power hungry ‘Power Vampires’ are flat-screen televisions. Do not use your televisions standby mode (you may see a light on the front of the television to indicate this is turned on).
✔ Get a Home Energy Audit – Whether you’re building a new home or doing a home remodel, a home energy audit is a great way to pinpoint ways to increase your home’s efficiency.
- Use On-line Audits – There are a variety of home energy audits offered online. The information that you get from these types of an audit can be informative, but before making any major home upgrades, be sure to get an audit from a professional.
- Professional Audit – A professional auditor will come to your home and run a series of diagnostic tests. These tests will look at your insulation levels, air leaks, the performance of your heating and cooling system and many others. Depending on your state, you may qualify for a home energy audit rebate.
✔ Save energy at home while you travel – By taking a few simple steps, you can reduce the energy usage of your home when you travel.
- Water heater – You can either turn the temperature down or shut it off altogether if there’s no risk of temperatures cold enough to freeze your pipes.
- Furnace – The lowest you’ll want to go is 50°F to 55°F to avoid freezing your pipes.
- Refrigerator – Give all perishable foodstuffs to your neighbor and then turn the temperature down to the lowest setting.
- Lights – Turn off all lights in your home while you’re away. For security, you may wish to install timers or motion-sensors on one or two outdoor and/or indoor lights so that they illuminate for a few hours every day, mimicking your presence.
- Electronics – Unplug all of your electronic devices.