3 Easy Steps for a “Greener” Home
Dressing up in green for St. Paddy’s Day is not just a fun way to celebrate Irish heritage- it’s also the surest way to keep from getting pinched, as is tradition. But homeowners can start a new tradition this year – by turning their homes “green” with eco-friendly practices. This will not only help the environment but also help avoid the painful pinch of massive electric bills. Here are a few simple ways to reduce a home’s energy consumption and cut monthly utility costs. And the best part is, they’re easy to do all year long!
The Power of Natural Sunlight
Many homeowners are already in the habit of turning the lights off in unoccupied rooms, which is an excellent way to reduce energy waste. But by taking this idea one step further, homeowners can bring their lighting expenditures to a minimum – simply leave the lights off in the daytime and use natural sunlight as much as possible. Drawing back the shades and opening blinds and doors throughout the house should allow more than enough sunshine to fill the home.
In homes with few windows and dark walls, the proper placement of a few mirrors or light-colored rugs can do wonders for brightening the place up. It may not be possible to rely solely on natural light in every circumstance, but every little bit helps. Many people even find that their mood improves as a result of all the extra sunlight!
The Latest Energy-Efficient Appliances
Large appliances account for the vast majority of a home’s energy consumption every month. Fortunately, manufacturers are continually improving their technology to make their products more and more energy-efficient. When searching for new appliances to replace those old energy hogs, it’s best to select appliances with the Energy Star sticker – the mark of eco-friendly technology approved by the EPA and Department of Energy.
From geothermal heat pumps and solar water heaters to low-wattage ceiling fans and televisions, these high-efficiency appliances can significantly reduce energy costs as well as the home’s carbon footprint. Energy Star washing machines and dishwashers can save thousands of gallons of water every year in addition to their massive energy savings. Energy-efficient refrigerators/freezers typically consume around 9% less power than standard models. Upgrading even a few major appliances can cut costs and reduce waste by several percentage points.
Unplug Anything That’s Not Being Used
Small appliances and devices can also use plenty of power, even when they’re just sitting in “standby mode” or turned off. This is because anything that’s plugged into a wall outlet continues to draw an electrical current. The Department of Energy estimates that this “vampire” energy loss accounts for 10% of the average home’s electricity use.
Things like entertainment systems, computers, and game consoles are the hungriest culprits. But even little things like phone chargers, power tool battery chargers, printers, stereos, and surge protectors devour their fair share. The slight inconvenience of unplugging and replugging devices is a small price to pay for going green and saving cash!
About Electrical Connections LLC
Electrical Connections LLC has Gaithersburg, Maryland’s trusted electrician since 2003. As a family-owned business, their dedication to safety and service has earned them an A+ BBB rating and a growing list of satisfied customers. They offer financing, 24-hour emergency service, extended warranties, and a 100% guarantee on all of their work.