Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends approximately $1,900 a year on home utility bills? Although, a large portion of that energy is wasted. And each year, power generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. Also, vehicles on the road account for 67% of all U.S oil consumption. Start making small changes today.
Look at Your Home. The top five energy users in your Home can vary depending on the climate where you live. But for most homes start with the following items:
- The home heating and cooling system, consumes 44% of your utility bill. If your system is more than 10 years old update to a more efficient unit. Utilize tax credits and utility rebates. At least adjust your thermostat by 2 degrees, or change to a programmable one.
- Small appliances – WOW! The U.S. Department of Energy Home Energy Saver web site shows that for homes, small appliances are the second largest users of energy. These include toasters, coffee makers, televisions, DVD players, stereos, and the like. Consider getting a SmartStrip to prevent them from creating “phantom loads, ” which draw small amounts of power all day and night, even when items are turned off. What is the SmartStrip? It features advanced circuitry that not only offers excellent power surge protection and line noise filtering, but is actually to “sense” the flow of electrical current through the strip’s control outlet.
- Your refrigerator runs constantly. This MAJOR appliance NEVER shuts off and it consumes a total of 8% of your electric bill. Look at how you use your FRIDGE, there are a lot of options out there now that will help you reduce the cost of keeping items fresh and cold.
- Water Heaters use approximately 18% of your energy costs. You likely have an inefficient one sitting in a closet or utility room. If you don’t update the hot water system at least insulate it to keep the unit from losing the heated water. Another, option is to install a tank less water heater, available in gas or electric units. They use energy only when you need it which, doesn’t have all that water just sitting there constantly needing to be kept hot. The Federal Government offers tax credits to install new efficient units.
- The final category of residential energy use is lighting. Where ever you can replace those incandescent bulbs for CFL’s. These new bulbs will consume up to 75% less electricity and are offered to retro fit into almost any fixture. Although, to extend the life of these bulbs you will need to leave them on for at least 15 minutes. By doing this it “BURNS IN” the lamp, which improves its function, and life span.
There are a lot of small things that you can do yourself to reduce your energy use cheaply and have a long term impact on your energy consumption. If you are serious about reducing our dependency from non-renewable sources then look around you. Your own home is the easiest way to reduce those ENERGY EATERS!