April 22 is Earth Day. Here are helpful tips on how to go green at home this spring. Not only can practicing more energy efficient habits lessen your impact on the environment, it’s also just smart economics. So if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and save on monthly energy bills at the same time, keep reading.
#1 Plant a Vegetable Garden
Take this opportunity to grow your own food at home. The types of foods you are able to grow will depend on your location and local climate. This exercise will teach both you and your family the importance of eating healthy and will help each of you feel more connected to the nourishment you are providing your body.
#2 Upgrade to Efficient Lighting
Lighting accounts for as much as 10 percent of residential electricity use, which adds up to about $11 billion each year in power bills. Switch all of the light bulbs in your home or office to CFLs. By changing just one bulb you can save anywhere from $30 to $80 in electricity costs over the course of that bulb’s lifetime. The average U.S. household has roughly 50 or more light bulbs, so think of how quickly those dollars will add up! Also, make sure to turn off any lights when you leave a room and use natural lighting whenever possible.
#3 Pay Bills Online
Unsubscribe from any print mail publications you no longer need or want. Sign up to pay your bills online and go paperless to go greener. In many cases, going digital can also be a much easier way for homeowners to manage their monthly expenses.
#4 Switch to Energy Efficient Appliances
When upgrading your home appliances, look for those with the Energy Star qualified label. Saving 15 percent of your home’s energy consumption avoids pollution that’s equivalent to planting 200 trees each year. You can also get tax credits for your energy efficient equipment.
When it comes to your home’s HVAC system, as much as half of the energy used at home goes to heating and cooling. More energy efficient models not only are quieter than other systems, but will also use less energy, reduce indoor humidity levels and lower your monthly energy bill. Look for AC systems with higher SEER ratings, as this means they will help you enjoy more efficient energy use.
#5 Wash Laundry in Cold Water
Run your laundry cycles to wash clothes using cold water instead of hot. Roughly 60 percent of Americans wash their clothes in warm water, and around 75 percent of the energy required to do a load of laundry goes into heating the water. About 18 percent of the overall energy consumed at home goes toward water heating. Setting your machine to run at 60 degrees Fahrenheit rather than 75 degrees can save you up to $60 in annual utility costs.
#6 Conduct a Home Energy Audit
Make informed decisions by conducting a DIY home energy audit. For certain areas of your home, you may want to consider hiring a professional to conduct the energy audit. It will come with a fee, but you will enjoy the benefit of experience and judgment. Use this comprehensive energy audit checklist from the City of Seattle for the appliances and aspects of your home you can check yourself.
Go Green This Earth Day With the Efficiency Experts at Blair’s Air
If you’re looking for ways to go green at home this Earth Day, and want to make your Clearwater, St. Pete or Tampa house an energy efficient home, the experts at Blair’s Air Conditioning and Heating can help. Call us today at (727) 800-4148 to learn more about efficiency in HVAC technology, or schedule service online to get started right away.