Today is Earth Day and it is a great time to look at what you can do to help create a healthier more efficient planet for all of Earth’s inhabitants. The best place to start is in your own Chicago home by reducing your home’s ecological footprint. Here are five great ways to save energy and make your home more eco-friendly. Even if you only do one of these things you’ll be making a positive change that will benefit not only your home environment but also the environment of others around you.
Turn Off and Unplug
Walk around your house and look for electronics that aren’t being used. Lights, television, computers, charging devices and other appliances should be switched off when not in use. Not only will you reduce your electric bill but you’ll also keep your house safe from potential electric fires. Sometimes the best solution is to unplug a device completely.
Smarter Home Appliances
Use home appliances during non-peak hours to prevent overloading electric grids. Instead of washing your clothes on the hot water setting dial it down to warm or cold water wash. Just making this simple change can equate to a yearly savings of 4 percent in heating costs. Use your dishwasher when it is fully loaded with dishes and air dry or towel dry them rather than using the appliance’s heated dry cycle.
Energy Efficient Windows
This change can be a big one. You’ll be amazed at how much energy is wasted by not having energy efficient windows in your home. In most cases updating the windows in your home equates to a savings of 10% in energy costs. In the summer, use curtains and close blinds to prevent your house from heating up. Did you know that air leaks around the doors and windows in your home can cause up to a 40% energy loss? There is about 1/8 inch space between a standard exterior door and its threshold, and a 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch gap on all four sides between the window sash and the framed opening, both of which leak air. Try updating the weather-stripping around your windows and doors to seal air leaks, and prevent energy loss.
Don’t Forget The Attic
The often forgotten attic space in your home typically doesn’t have much or any insulation. Extra insulation is cheap and installing it is something you can do yourself with a staple gun. Just adding a layer of insulation to your attic can save $600 a year in heating and cooling costs.
Update Your Daily Routine?
From taking shorter showers to turning lights off when we leave a room, the things that we can all do during our daily routines that will help conserve energy are seemingly endless. The most important things that we can do as individuals are making positive changes to what we consistently do everyday. Little changes over time equal big results.
Happy Earth Day From all of us at Great 2 Be Home!