Westport Magazine, June 2012

Is it is no surprise that the universal key to save the environment and reduce your
carbon footprint is to go green. It is also no news that Americans use more energy
that any other country on the planet. With talks of global warming, people across
the country are making small changes to their lifestyles to become more “green”, for
example, switching from plastic to reusable and recyclable grocery bags. The main
source of energy used by Americans however comes from their homes, and with the
unstable changes in the economy, many people are being left with no choice but to
switch to a more ecological lifestyle.

Here are some cost efficient tips that will not only make your home green friendly
this summer, but will also make significant cuts to your annual energy bills:
*For homeowners trying to sell within the next year, follow these tips to help you
and the next homeowners save money.

Lower the temperature of your water heater in your home.
Water heaters require extensive use of energy to get the water hot enough to use
and keep it hot. Each additional degree of heat uses more energy. Both tank and
tankless models have a temperature setter. Set the temperature to 120 or 125
degrees and you should see a 15 to 25 percent decrease in your annual water
heating bill.

Replace your old light bulbs with CFLS.
Switching out a single frequently used light bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb
can save you up to $20 a year or hundreds more if you replace all the light bulbs.
CLFs are available for almost all light fixtures and generally cost $1-2 dollars.

Use a ceiling fan instead of your A/C.
For those days during the summer where it isn’t too hot, you can often go without
using the air conditioning and sticking with standard ceiling and box fans. By
moving the air around, standard fans can make a room 7 degrees cooler. Decreasing
use of your air conditioner can reduce your cooling costs by 90 percent on days you
use a fan instead.

Use the cold setting on your washing machine.
Big families often go through up to ten wash cycles a week. Almost all the energy
it takes to wash clothes comes from the hot water used in the cycles. By switching
your washing machine setting to use cold instead of hot water, you can cut the cost
of washing clothes by 75 percent a year, while also keeping your clothes brighter
and longer-lasting.

Close your blinds during summer days.

Just as running the furnace during the winter hoards up massive amounts of energy,
cooling your home is generally the sponge for energy in the summer. By closing
your blinds in the summer you are decreasing the amount of sunlight that enters. As
sunlight carries a large amount of heat, windows are normally the main source of
heat inflow in most houses during summer days.

Dry your clothes on a line or drying rack.
Drying machines use a large amount of energy, especially when they are running
five to ten times a week. Drying your clothes on a clothing line or rack will
completely eliminate the energy cost to dry clothes and save about $50 on yearly