With a new year always comes an opportunity to renew your commitment to sustainability. You still have time to add some of these easy tasks to your resolutions list to help make 2016 a little greener both in and out of your pockets.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Simply installing and setting a programmable thermostat could save you an estimated 10 percent per year on heating and cooling costs.
- Take advantage of the sun. During winter months, opening your curtains during the day allows the sun to naturally heat your home. During warmer months, use light-colored window shades or blinds to reflect heat back outside, keeping your home cooler and more efficient.
- Use ENERGY STAR®. If you’re in the market for new appliances, fans and electronics this year, look for ENERGY STAR–certified products. They incorporate advanced technologies that use 10 to 15 percent less energy and water than standard models, which could save you nearly $750 over the lifetime of the products.*
- Choose energy-efficient lighting.Replacing five of your home’s most frequently used lights with ENERGY STAR bulbs could save $75 a year in energy costs.*
- Plug in an electronic power strip. Use a power strip for electronic devices and turn it off when you’re not using it. In addition, unplug your chargers because they draw energy even when they aren’t connected to a device.
- Lower your water heater temperature.Set your water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees. Your water will be plenty hot, and you’ll spend less on keeping it hot.
- Maintain your heating and cooling system.Be sure to clean the air filters in your heating and cooling system once a month, and replace them regularly. In addition, schedule annual maintenance with a qualified technician to ensure the systems are working properly.
- Consult a professional energy assessor. These contractors will perform a comprehensive energy audit of your home, measuring energy efficiency and suggesting improvements to make your home more energy efficient.