A week has passed since I first discussed ways you can save both energy and money this winter by doing some simple projects around the house. I received a positive response from my initial post, so I thought I would put together a couple more ways to keep you saving green all winter long.
MANAGE IT If you have a programmable thermostat, be sure to check that it is programmed for appropriate temperatures and times. If you do not have one, now is the time to purchase one. It will substantially increase energy efficiency. Also check the temperature setting on your water heater, and adjust it to 120 degrees or less.
REPLACE IT If it’s time to replace your furnace, water heater or any other major piece of equipment or appliance, make sure it is ENERGY STAR rated. This rating ensures that the appliance/equipment is 30% more efficient than what is required by standards.
SAVE IT To further decrease your energy consumption; replace your incandescent bulbs with compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. They use 75% less energy and last about ten times longer. They come in a variety of color temperatures and types, as well as have dimming capabilities. Look for CFLs that are RoHS Compliant, meaning the CFL was tested for the presence of Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Mercury (Hg), Hexavalent chromium (Hex-Cr), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) and are below the allowable limits (i.e. have 100 ppm or less of mercury and the mercury must not have been intentionally added to the component). Don’t forget to recycle your incandescent or CFLs. Local retailers such as Home Depot and Menards will recycle them for free.
RESEARCH IT Research qualifying products, equipment and appliances to see if there are any federal or state incentives/tax credits, as well as potential incentives offered by Focus on Energy and your local utility company.
ALARM IT Change the batteries on your home’s carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. If you don’t have these potential life-saving alarms, now is a great time to invest in your family’s safety. Don’t forget to recycle your batteries!
By now you should have lots of ideas on how to winterize your home. You might want to think about getting some of these projects done soon, or you might find yourself outside on a ladder, or having to replace your furnace, in sub-zero temperatures. And again, I would love to hear your ideas and tips for winterizing/greening your home. Please leave a comment below.