>> Saturday, November 17, 2012
As a nation, we've been growing towards energy efficient machines and bulbs to help conserve energy, save us money and most importantly, save the environment. Lowering your utility bills means keeping more money in your bank account, and who wouldn't want that? Making simple changes throughout your house could seriously change the amount of energy you use at home. Here's a list of six easy ways to save energy and money.
Turn off unneeded lights
Growing up, you may remember your father nagging you to always turn the light off in your room when you weren't in there. When you thought he was just being annoying, he was really just trying to teach you how to conserve energy and in turn, save him money on utilities. Lighting is responsible for about eleven percent of a home's energy bills and by turning off the lights that you aren't using, you'll be saving electricity as well as extending the lifetime of the bulbs.
Switch out old lights
Unless you live under a rock, you've heard over the past few years the importance of switching out your old incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFLs are known for their energy savings, using around 75 percent less energy than your standard incandescent and they last much longer. These bulbs come in all shapes and sizes, so don't think just because you have a unique lamp or unusual light fixture that these bulbs won't fit
Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats help save you money by automatically adjusting your home's temperature based on the schedule you set. For example, when you're home you can have it programmed to be a comfortable temperature but when you're not home, it can be set on low since no one's there. A programmable thermostat could actually save you as much as 15 percent on your heating and cooling costs.
Turn off your computer at night
Having your computer on all the time may be convenient, but it's not good for your utility bill or for the environment. Turning off your computer when you're not using it, such as overnight, is a great way to save energy since you know you won't be using it during that time. Turning off your computer will also reduce wear and tear on your hardware, which will in turn extend its life.
Make windows more efficient
Sealing windows can only do so much, since window glass is such a thin barrier against the cold outdoor temperatures. Installing new storm windows in your home can help reduce temperature loss by sealing any leaks and creating a dead airspace between window panes. While this is an expensive investment, the ROI is relatively short and it's well worth it.
Water is something a lot of us overlook since it's a natural resource. The truth is, we still have to pay for it, especially when it's heated. If you use less water overall, your water bill will be lower and if you use less hot water, this will lower your gas bill or electricity bill, depending on how your water is heated. This change is simple, just take shorter showers. It's also not difficult to reach for the faucet when brushing your teeth or washing dishes and turning off the water when you're not using it. These changes are easy to make and you'll be amazed to see the difference in your bill afterwards.
Your utility bills don't have to be high and you can be saving money by taking advantage of some of the tips listed above. The best part about these changes is that you won't only be saving money, you'll also be saving the environment, and that's a very important action.
Janelle Rivera has a strong passion for protecting the planet. She has taken the extra step to help build awareness for going green. She is even researching llm environmental law to learn more about saving the environment.