Although the United States uses several different energy sources to supply us with the energy needed to make electricity, heat or cool our homes, move our cars and manufacture the products we can’t live without, only five of these sources are renewable.
The sources that provide us with the most power, however, are all nonrenewable. There are a great many problems attached to the fact that supplies for these sources are limited, especially when you consider just how demanding today’s industrialized world really is.
That is why you would do well to consider ways you can reduce your consumption of energy as you move forward in life. This will protect the world’s nonrenewable resources for future generations, but it will also save you money on your monthly utility bills.
Incorporating some conservation techniques within your home can really make a difference. The best part? You won’t even notice the changes as they’ll become habit in no time at all.
The following are four of our favorite smart moves for saving energy and money:
Smart Move #1: Unplug Appliances When Not in Use
Appliance electricity use accounts for 37 percent of total household energy consumption across the nation according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). However, much of this percentage is being wasted, as many appliances drain energy even when they’re not being used.
These appliances, also known as vampire appliances (or electronics), suck up power regardless of whether they’re on or off; thus resulting in increased utility bills. You can save money simply by unplugging certain appliances within your home when they’re not being used. Vampire appliances include:
- Television sets
- DVD players
- Video game consoles
- Cable/satellite boxes
- Laptops/desktop computers
- Printers and all-in-ones
- Microwave ovens
- Coffee makers
Smart Move #2: Install Low-Flow Aerators
A typically household uses upwards of 260 gallons of water per day. The good news is that by installing low-flow aerators and showerheads throughout your home, you can easily and inexpensively conserve two of the world’s most natural resources: energy and water.
An aerator is a screen that is attached to the bottom of your faucet which works to break up the water into tiny streams. These streams are mixed with air, leaving less space for water to pass through, thus reducing the flow rate. They can be found at virtually any home improvement store.
Smart Move #3: Seal Air Leaks
19 problem areas! That’s how many the average home in the U.S. has according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Reducing the leaks found in these problem areas by properly air sealing them is a cost-effective way to reduce your monthly utility bills, improve your HVAC system’s durability and create a healthier quality of indoor air.
Smart Move #4: Install a Programmable Thermostat
It’s no secret that heating and cooling your home accounts for approximately 50 percent of your home’s energy usage. Making the switch to a programmable thermostat from a manual one can save you as much as $180 per year.
Most basic thermostats allow you to set different temperatures for different times of the day. For example, you can set it for 78 degrees during the day (if you’re home), and higher in the evening hours. Smart models, which work with your phone, allow you to set it from anywhere should you forget.
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