Energy Saving Tips
Making your life a little greener doesn’t have to hurt. In fact, there are some very simple energy saving tips you can implement to reduce your impact on the planet. This will also lower the amount your energy bills all year long.
- As much as half of the energy your home uses is spent on heating and cooling(1). So choosing high-efficiency air conditioning and furnace systems can make a big difference on your home’s emissions and your utility bills. Installing an ENERGY STAR® qualified HVAC system can dramatically reduce your energy usage, saving up to 60% on your cooling bills(2), and up to 40% on heating costs(2).
- Reducing the number of catalogs that clog both your mailbox and the landfill is better for the environment – and for your pocketbook, if they tempt you to buy. Each American gets about 63 catalogs every year; production of those uses an estimated 53 million trees and enough water to fill 81,000 swimming pools every year(3). There’s an online service that can help you get off mailing lists free at www.catalogchoice.org, or you can find each catalog company’s 800 number and ask to be removed from their mailing list.
- You hear a lot about “ozone”…but is it good or bad? Well, that depends on where it is. The ozone layer refers to the ozone within the earth’s stratosphere, where more than 90% of the earth’s ozone exists(4). This ozone layer helps protect the earth by absorbing 97 to 99% of the sun’s high-frequency ultraviolet light. However, ozone is an irritating, corrosive, colorless gas that you don’t want in your home, because exposure to ground-level ozone can lead to shortness of breath and chest pain(5). Many indoor air quality (IAQ) products such as electronic air cleaners and portable ionic air purifiers produce ozone. Choose an IAQ product that does not produce ozone, such as the Healthy Climate® IAQ products from Lennox. This is the industry’s first comprehensive line.
- Many energy utilities around the country are now offering “green energy” programs. Green or renewable energy can be more expensive to develop than coal-based energy. These programs ask for voluntary contributions to offset the extra cost. You can generally buy “blocks” of green energy for a few dollars that your energy company will use to purchase the more expensive, renewable energy. These contributions allow you to offset part of your home’s “carbon footprint,” the measure of how much carbon dioxide is created each day by your use of fossil fuels.
- Insulating your attic helps keep your home’s upper floors more comfortable in summer and winter, and keeps more of the comfort you paid for from escaping your home. Use insulation with at least a minimum R-30 value, or visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website to learn more about choosing the right level of insulation for your area of the country.
- Think about planting a garden instead of grass around your home. This will allow you to save water, reduce the energy spent mowing and help avoid spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Choose native wildflowers, a ground cover that requires little care or an organic herb garden and you’ll save time and money all summer long.
These energy saving tips can easily become apart of every day routine and improve many facets of your life. Take a look at the sources below for more information.