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December 11, 2014
Americans are saving more and more energy every year, but energy consumption in the U.S. is still far from perfect. Along with harming the environment, wasteful energy usage takes more of your money in the form of a higher energy bill. However, as the new year approaches, so does a new opportunity to revamp your home’s energy efficiency. The process doesn’t have to be painful. Take a look at these five fast and easy ways to go green in 2015, so you can save money and reduce your impact on the environment.
1. Audit your home.
An energy audit allows you to properly gauge what your home needs and how much energy you are losing. Audits check your doors, windows, and other common areas for energy to escape, and give you advice for home improvement methods to save energy; they are quick and easy, and receiving one every few years is a good idea, as homes tend to degrade over time.
2. Seal your windows and doors.
Windows and doors are gaps in your walls, where it is easy for energy to escape. If heat leaks out of your home, it’s easy for you to use more energy than you intended in order to keep your home’s temperature constant - which raises your carbon footprint and your energy bill. You can take care of this with an easy weatherstripping method in which you use special tape and other materials to seal up leaks.
3. Install energy-efficient lighting.
CFL bulbs are still one of the most common way to save energy because these compact, energy-saving light bulbs use less electricity than traditional varieties. However, you can also opt for LEDs, which use only 20-25 percent of the energy of regular incandescent bulbs, or halogen incandescents - which, although meeting minimum energy efficiency standards, are still not as efficient as CFLs or LEDs.
4. Lower the temperature on your thermostat.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but the easiest way to save energy on heating is simply to set your home to use less heat. According to the Department of Energy, “by turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.” Not only will you be saving money, you can also reduce your carbon footprint by using less electricity.
Insulation already reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. by 780 million tons per year; however, many people still do not have proper insulation in place in their homes. It is important to consider not only walls, but upper areas such as attics and roofs, as the majority of heat is lost through these areas.
A few simple steps can go a long when when it comes to saving energy and going green. With a bit of extra thought, you can conserve energy and save money on your energy bills in the new year.
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