Military Life

A Comprehensive Guide to Conserving Energy at Home

When you save energy, it saves you money, and it also decreases the demand for fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, and coal.  When fewer fossil fuels are burned, it results in lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions being burned, which is the main thing contributing to global warming, as well as other pollutants.

In order to enjoy these savings, it isn’t necessary to do without.  There is an energy efficient alternative now for nearly every type of light fixture or appliance.  That means consumers have the power and a real choice to change how they use energy on a scale that is truly revolutionary.     

Around 40,000 pounds worth of CO2 emissions is produced by the average American every year as Eidi Properties report..  

Combined, we utilize almost one million in energy per minute, every day and night of the year.  When you exercise even a couple of the following steps, you will be able to decrease how much emissions you use on a yearly basis of thousands of pounds.  Also, your energy bills will be significantly cut as well, especially if you use tricks like prepaid lights for example.   

Read also: The Biggest List of Military Discounts

Here are 14 ways we as a family save energy:

Home Appliances

Turn down your refrigerator. 

Around 20% of the electricity used by a  household is used by the refrigerators.  A thermometer can be used to get the temperature on your refrigerator set to as close as possible to 37 degrees and the freezer set as close as possible to 3 degrees.  Make sure that the energy saver freezer on the appliance is turned on.  Check the gaskets surrounding the freezer and refrigerator doors to ensure they seal tightly and are clean.

Set your washer to either the cold or warm water setting, instead of hot. 

When you switch to warm from hot fro two loads every week it can help you save almost 500 pounds worth of CO2 a year if your water heater is electric, or for a gas heater, 150 pounds.

Before running your dishwasher make sure that it is full first, and if you have an energy saving setting make sure you use it.  Also, let your dishes air dry.  You also can manually turn the drying cycle off.  When heat is not used in the drying cycle, it can save you 20 percent of the total electricity use of your dishwasher.

Turn the water heater thermostat down. 

Thermostats are frequently set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but usually, 120 is perfectly fine.  Every reduction of 10 degrees can save 500 pounds worth of CO2 every year with an electric water heater, and with a gas heater, 440 pounds can be saved.  If all households were to turn down the thermostat on their water heaters by 20 degrees, over 45 million tons with of CO2 emissions could be prevented every year – which is the same amount the entire countries of Libya or Kuwait emit.

When your old appliances need to be replaced, choose the models that are the most energy-efficient.  The Energy Star Label is something you should look for.  It assures you that the product prevents pollution and saves energy.  Purchase a product that is the right size for your needs, instead of the largest one that is available.  Usually, front-loading washing machines cut the use of hot water by 60-70% when compared with regular machines.  When a typical 1973 refrigerator is replaced with an energy-efficient new model will save 1.4 tons worth of CO2 every year.  You can save up to 40.9 tons of CO2 every year when you invest in a solar water heater.

Home Cooling and Heating

Make sure that you don’t over cool or overheat rooms.

During the winter, your thermostat should be set at 68 degrees during the day, and at night it should be set at 55 degrees.  Keep it set at 78 degrees during the summer.  Lowering your thermostat by only two degrees in the winter can save 6 percent of CO emissions that are heating-related.  That results in a 420-pound reduction of CO2 every year for the average house.            

Follow the recommendations for replacing or cleaning your air filters. 

Whenever hot-air furnaces and air conditions have work too hard to draw air through a dirty filter, energy is lost.  When a dirty air conditioner filter is cleaned, it can save you 5 percent of the total energy used. Every year that can save you 175 pounds worth of CO2. 

Another great way to save on cooling and heating and their impact is to look for a supplier who provides a green option when creating energy, look for this when switching energy companies.

Small Investments Can Really Pay Off

Purchase compact energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. 

Initially, they might cost most, but over the long run, they will save you money since they only use about 25 percent of the energy that a regular incandescent bulb does and also lasts 8 to 12 times longer.   They offer the same amount of attractive, bright light.  Only around 10% of the energy that is consumed by a regular light bulb produces light.  The rest of it only makes the light bulb hot.   If every household in America used one compact energy fluorescent bulb as a replacement for a standard light bulb, it would save the same amount of energy that is produced by a large nuclear power plant in one year.   One fluorescent, compact bulb in the average home can save 260 pounds worth of CO2 in one year.    

Your water heater should be wrapped in an insulating jacket. 

They cost around $10 to $20.  If you have an electric water heater, it can save you 1,100 pounds of CO2 a year, or for a gas heater 220 pounds.

Install low-flow shower heads in order to use less hot water. 

They only cost $10 to $20 and provide an invigorating flow of water in your shower.  They save 300 pounds worth of CO2 on water heated electrical, or on a gas-heated water 80 pounds. 

Weatherize your apartment or home. 

Use weather stripping and caulk to plug any air leaks around your windows and doors.  Caulking will cost you less than $1 for every window, and it will cost you less than $10 per door for weather stripping.  For the typical house, the steps can help to save you as much as 1,100 pounds of CO2 a year.  Contact your utility company and request a home energy audit to determine whether or not your house is energy inefficient or poorly insulated. They might do this for free or charge or you might need to pay a low fee for the service.  Make sure that your air conditioner and furnace is check as part of the audit.

Getting Around

Whenever you can, use mass transportation, carpool, bike, or walk. 

Each gallon of gas that you save will avoid using 22 pounds worth of CO2 emissions.  For example, if your vehicle gets 25 mpg, and you drive only 10,000 miles instead of 12,000 miles, it will help you save 1,800 pounds worth of CO2. 

Whenever you purchase your next car, buy one that gets good gas mileage.  If it gets 40 mpg instead of 25 mpg, and in a year you drive 10,000 miles, your annual CO2 emissions will be reduced by 3,300 pounds.

Read also: How Military Families Can Get The Best Car Insurance Price

Reduce, Recycle, Reuse    

Purchase goods with minimal packaging.

Reduce how much waste you are producing through purchasing goods with minimal packaging, selecting reusable products instead of disposable ones, and recycle. 

For each pound of waste that you are able to recycle or eliminate, you will save energy and also cut down on CO2 emissions by 1 pound at least.  When you cut your garbage down by half of a large trash bag every week it will save you 1,100 pounds worth of CO2 at least every year.  When you make products using recycled materials, rather from scratch using raw materials, it will use 90% less with aluminum, 33% less glass, and 30-55% less on paper products. 

Make sure the coolant is recycled and recovered whenever your vehicle is serviced.

If there is an air conditioner in your car, be sure the coolant is recycled and recovered whenever your vehicle is serviced.  In the U.S., leakage from car air conditioners is the biggest source of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) emissions, which causes damage to the ozone layer in addition to adding to global warming.  The CFCs coming from just one car air conditioners may add as much as 4,800 pounds worth of CO2 emissions annually.

Home Improvements

Whenever you are planning a major home improvement project, consider some of the following energy-saving investments.  In the long run, these can save you a lot of money, and frequently save tons of CO every year.

Insulate your ceilings and walls. 

That can save you 20-30 percent of your heating bills and cut your CO2 emissions by 140-2,100 pounds every year.  Consider super insulating if you live in an area with a cold climate.  For a gas-heated house, it can save you as much as 5.5 tons worth of CO2 a year, and for oil heat 8.8 tons a year, or for electric heat 23 tons a year.  (If your house has electric heat, you may want to switch over to more efficient oil or gas.)

Modernize your windows. 

When your ordinary windows are replaced with double-glazed, argon filled windows, it can save 2.4tons worth of CO2 a year with gas heated homes and for electric heat 9.8 tons and 3.9 tons of oil heat.

Paint your home a light color and plant shade trees if you live in an area with a warm climate, or in a cold climate paint your house a dark color.  You can reduce the amount of energy you use by up to 2.4 tons worth of CO2 emissions a year with the appropriate painting and planting shade trees.  (Also, every tree directly absorbs around 25 pounds worth of CO2 out of the air every year.)

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