Energy Efficiency: Where It Packs the Most Punch
As eco-friendly champions, we understand the value of protecting the planet through any avenue possible. And while we all probably recognize that our homes are a good place to start, it can be challenging to identify what areas should be prioritized first. There are numerous approaches you can take to making over your home to be energy efficient, but here are some tips on beginning with three important segments.
Caring for Your Clothes
The place where you wash and dry your clothing is a prime place for extreme waste to go unnoticed. As consumers, we often buy whatever units are sold to us at the best price or seem to be most convenient for loading and unloading. This part of your home can be the culprit for massive amounts of water going—literally—down the drain, and using far more energy than is needed.
When you go to purchase a washer and dryer, first look for an ENERGY STAR label to be assured the set you are getting adheres to new, high standards that limit water and energy waste. In addition, get in the habit of practicing energy-conscious behaviors when dealing with your laundry. Two helpful ideas are: select the water level that fits the amount of clothes you’re washing, and use the fastest possible drying speed. The former tip will save some water, and the latter will remove more water from your clothes and save energy once the load is in the dryer.
Let In the Light
When we think of being energy efficient, appliances most often come to mind first. But there are other areas of your home that can be made more energy-friendly that don’t fall into this category. One that’s especially worthy of note? Your windows.
As you peruse the window selection available, take a look at energy performance ratings and how they correlate to your home’s design and climate. Consider windows that can protect your home from air leaks and drafts while letting in beautiful natural light. Energy-efficient windows are said to pay for themselves over time, because they lower your energy bill month in and month out.
Keep it Cool
Central air conditioners are an appliance to consider when you want to upgrade your home to be more environmentally friendly. Again, the first step is to look for an Energy Star system. Also, try to get an indoor unit, condenser, and thermostat that are all made by the same brand so that they synchronize effectively. One of the biggest keys to saving money and energy with your central air conditioner is to have it professionally installed. A faulty installation can waste your time, energy, and money—all of which are the opposite of your goals.
As you go about improving your lifestyle and elevating your home to be more eco-friendly, zero in on the hot spots that are most worthy of being energy efficient. Your washer and dryer, windows, and central air conditioner can make a world of difference in the energy you use and the money you pay each month.
If you want to have some fun and get an estimate on just how much money you can save by preserving energy in these ways, try the savings calculator from Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. You might be surprised at how much these improvements can save your wallet, all while doing the environment a big favor!