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Did you know? If every American replaced one light bulb with a more energy-efficient variety, we would save about $600 million in annual energy costs and prevent nine billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s equal to lighting up three million homes and keeping 800,000 cars off the road annually. Small steps make a big difference!
Here are five easy ways to save energy and money at home:
Turn off the fan when you leave a room. Fans don’t cool the air—they only cool people by blowing warm air across their skin. The motor on the fan adds heat to the room, which is another reason to turn it off when you leave.
Close your drapes or drop your window shades during the day. Keeping sunlight out during the heat of the day keeps the house cooler. In the winter, doing the opposite lets the warm sunlight in. You might also consider moving your furniture around with the seasons to take advantage of or avoid the sun.
Wash your clothes in cold water. Ninety percent of the energy used to wash your clothes is for heating the water. Cold water is just as effective for getting clothes clean with today’s high-efficiency washers and cold water-formulated detergents.
Wrap or cover foods and drinks in the refrigerator. Did you know that when foods release moisture, they make the compressor work harder to keep the unit cold? Yes! So put that food or drink in a reusable container with a lid or cover with plastic.
Always use the cold water faucet, unless you really want hot water. Turning on the hot water faucet (or placing the faucet lever to hot or warm) requires energy to heat the water, even if it doesn’t reach the faucet before you turn it off. So, use cold water, especially for cooking. Health tip: Hot water from the tap absorbs more lead and other contaminants from pipes.
We hope these few ideas will help you save energy and enjoy your great home even more!