Ahhh! Doesn’t this “cooler” weather feel good? Makes me want to open my windows, turn off the a/c and breathe in the fresh air. And because October is “Energy Management is a Family Affair—Improve Your Home Month,” now is the perfect time to find ways to conserve energy.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has found that more energy is used during the winter months than the warmer months (that may be the case for most of those northern states, but they have no idea what we go through here in Texas!). Below you’ll find a list of ways you can begin saving energy today:
· Turn up or off your air conditioner. Turning up to 80 degrees will significantly lower your bills, but why not turn it off during the day and/or evening while we have these cooler temperatures? Think of the money you’ll be able to keep in your bank accounts!
· Install a programmable thermostat, or a “smart” thermostat, to control heating and cooling systems while you’re at home and away. You’ll see a difference in your energy bill!
· Wash dishes by hand, or use the “air dry” cycle of your dishwasher. A dish towel does wonders!
· Only wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher. If you have a “rinse-only” cycle, use this in between cycles; it’ll allow you to use the fastest washing cycle when your dishwasher becomes full, as food will not have time to sit and dry on the dishes.
· Lower your thermostat on your water heater. Turning it to 120 degrees will allow water to get hot without scalding anyone, and help with your bills.
· Take showers instead of baths, and use low-flow showerheads if possible. This has been touted since the 80s, but taking a shower really does save gallons of water each time.
· Air dry clothes if possible. If you don’t have a clothes-line or a drying rack, get creative in the house, like putting your clothes on hangers and hanging them on the molding around doors and windows.
· Check the weather stripping around your doors and replace if necessary. This will keep your home’s interior temperature from changing quickly, thereby running your HVAC system less, thereby saving you money.
· Unplug items not currently being used. You can use a power strip and just flip the switch when you are finished using items like TVs and DVD players.
· Purchase only Energy Star labeled appliances, electronics and light bulbs whenever possible.
· Plant trees. The shade from a tree can literally save you $100 or more a year on your electric bill!
These are just some of the ways you can save energy. Go to http://energy.gov/articles/ to learn more. As always, if you or someone you know is looking into buying or selling a home, please give me call, text or email me; I’d be honored to apply for the job as your realtor!