Winter is slowly leaving us but that doesn’t mean you still can’t reduce your energy usage. So, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day here are:
10 Ways to go Green with Energy Efficiency!
1.) Pick a Program
According to Energystar, you can save up to $180 a year if you get a programmable thermostat and set it properly.
2.) Seal it Up
About 20 percent of the air that moves through an average duct system is lost due to holes, leaks, and poorly connected ducts. You can gain this 20 percent back by sealing the heating and cooling ducts that run through crawl spaces, the attic, garage, or unheated basement, as well as sealing and insulating your home’s windows, walls, ceilings and floors.
3.) Clear the Air
Changing your air filter is an excellent way to reduce your energy usage; a dirty filter will slow down air flow and make your system work harder in order to keep you warm or cool, which wastes energy. During the heavy use months (winter & summer) be sure to check your filter every month, and at a minimum every three months.
4.) Make the Switch
Any easy way to save energy is to switch your incandescent light bulbs to floodlights and energy saving lightbulbs.
5.) Wash Responsibly
When washing dishes only run a load when it is full and wash your clothing in either cold or warm water. Do not use the dry heating option on your dishwasher or the sanitary cycle on your washing machine; both are hot cycle options and will use more energy.
6.) Become a Fan
Ceiling fans can help reduce the need for air conditioning and help heat your home more economically, so consider investing in an Energystar ceiling fan or a fan that has switch which allows you to reverse the motor. Using a ceiling fan while using an air conditioner will help to circulate the cool air and cool the room more efficiently. During the winter if you reverse the motor and operate the fan in the opposite direction it will force the warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down into the living space.
7.) Dry on a Dime
When drying your clothes, be sure to clean the lint trap before every load and make sure that the outside exhaust isn’t clogged. A clogged exhaust will lengthen the time it takes to dry your clothes which increases your energy usage. If your dryer has a moisture sensor be sure to use it; it will automatically turn your dryer off when your clothes are dry. Seal any gaps around your dryer’s ducts, electrical wires, or vents with caulk or spray foam as an added energy saving measure.
8.) Clean is Green
Clean your radiators, warm-air registers, and baseboard heaters as necessary; make sure that they’re not blocked by carpeting, furniture, or drapes. Close off heating vents in rooms you’re not using, and eliminate trapped air from your hot-water radiators once or twice a season.
9.) Here Comes the Sun
During the winter keep the drapes of any south facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight to enter and closed at night to reduce the chill you might feel from cold windows. During the summer, keep the window coverings closed during the day to block out the sun’s heat.
10.) Time to Upgrade
Consider replacing your windows and old appliances with energy efficient models.
If you’re interested in renewable energy, such as solar panels, check out Solar Works Schoharie, a local non-profit run by volunteers that helps to facilitate solar installations throughout Schoharie County. For more information on the project check out http://www.solarworksschoharie.org/.