MAKE A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION FOR A MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT HOME
Welcome to 2020! Here are some ways to create a more energy-efficient home and pocket more cash this year and for years to come!
We provide the following suggestions to reduce water, electricity, and heating waste.
WAYS TO REDUCE WATER USAGE
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average American family of four uses about 400 gallons of water a day. Unless you have your water well on your property, the days of “cheap” water are long gone. Over the past decade, water bills across the county including Illinois have skyrocketed and continue to rise at an alarming rate.
In the past, when water bills were relatively insignificant, most homebuilders and homeowners didn’t put much effort into water preservation. Unless you live in a new home or a home upgraded to preserve waters, chances are a few upgrades can dramatically reduce your water waste and your water bill.
Today there are several ways to reduce water usage and most changes will have little or no impact on your lifestyle. For those of you with a well, preserving that precious resource can pay off in the long run too!
INSIDE YOUR HOME
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing dishes in the sink.
- Check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks. If you find a leak, have it fixed as soon as possible.
- Fix that dripping faucet – A dripping faucet can easily raise your water bill by 10 percent or more each month. One dripping sink or tube faucet can lead as much as 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year.
- Water-saving showerheads, Low Flow toilets, and faucet aerators can also help cut your water usage. Low-flow showerheads have a flow rate of less than 2.5 GPM (gallons per minute), while most conventional showerheads use 5 gallons per minute.
- Consider replacing older dishwashers and clothing washers with WaterSense and Energy Star rated models. The USEPA reports that EPA-certified Energy Star washing machines may use 35% less water per load.
- Only run your clothes washer and dishwasher during off-peak hours when utility costs are often reduced and only and only when you have a full load.
- Always use the water-saver cycle if you have one. You won’t notice a difference unless you are washing heavily soiled items.
- Insulate exposed water pipes with pre-slit foam insulation. You’ll enjoy hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up. Or consider installing instant water heaters, but take care to select an energy-efficient model that won’t dramatically increase electricity usage.
OUTSIDE WATER PRESERVATION
- Automatic lawn sprinklers utilize a lot of water each year. Consider installing a rain sensor that can turn off your system when it is raining
- Only water your lawn when it is needed. An easy way to tell if your lawn needs water is to simply walk across the grass. If you leave footprints, your lawn may be thirsty! Generally, lawns only need an inch or so of water per week during the summer months
- Water your lawn in the early morning. As much as 30 percent of water can be lost to evaporation by watering during midday.
- Set your lawn mower one notch higher to make your lawn more drought-tolerant.
- Use drip irrigation hoses to water plants, and water in the early morning or evening.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk, driveway, or patio.
- Wash your car at a DIY or Automatic car wash.
WAYS TO REDUCE ELECTRICAL USAGE
According to the EPA, the biggest single uses of electricity in the residential sector are space heating and cooling (air conditioning), lighting, water heating, space heating, and appliances and electronics. Electricity demand in the residential sector tends to be highest on hot summer afternoons due to increased air conditioning use, followed by evenings when lights are turned on.
- Change out incandescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs. While initially a bit more expensive, If you replaced 20 incandescent bulbs with LED light bulbs throughout your home, you could save $150 to $200 per year.
- Replace old appliances such as refrigerators, televisions, stoves, washers and air conditioners with Energy Star rated models that meet energy-efficient specifications set by the EPA. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10-50% less electricity compared to non-energy start rated units.
- Replace old computers and computer games. Most tech experts estimate that you should replace your computer every four years. When the time comes for your desktop computer, consider replacing it with a laptop. Laptops use up to 80% less electricity and run on less energy. Laptop computers typically peak at a maximum energy draw of only 60 watts, whereas most desktops peak around 175 watts.
- Upgrading your attic insulation and sealing air leaks can reduce how frequently you run your air conditioner to cool your home which can dramatically reduce your electrical use in summer.
- Unplug unused TVs, Computers, and chargers when not in use. According to Energy.gov, the average charger consumes 0.26 watts of energy when not in use and 2.24 watts when connected to your phone. Alone, one charger won’t make much impact, but collectively energy vampires can be responsible for 10% of your energy bill
- Consider a whole-house fan to dramatically reduce cooling costs. Flush your home of stagnant hot air in a matter of minutes. Click here to learn more about whole house attic fans>
WAYS TO REDUCE HEATING COSTS
- Seal gaps and cracks around doors, windows, around ceiling lights, and around outlets in your home
- Upgrade your attic insulation. Most homes are under-insulated, often below the recommended minimum of an R-46. For maximum efficiency R-60 is recommended. Click here to learn more about Insulation R-ratings>
MORE WAYS TO SAVE ENERGY
As you can see, there are many ways to reduce your utility footprint, preserve resources, and save money for years to come.
WE ARE ATTIC AIR – A NORTHERN ILLINOIS INSULATION AND VENTILATION CONTRACTOR
We are an insulation contractor serving Chicago and All Suburbs. We offer a free attic assessment. Look us up on Yelp, Google, Angie’s List, and the Better Business Bureau. We have been in business for over 20 years with an outstanding reputation of delivering quality products and services. Call us today at 630.830.3870.