Energy Savings?! Knock, knock…any CleanTechie at home?

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The US Environmental Protection Agency has some suggestions on how we can save energy this summer, and reduce our emissions of Green House Gasses. The energy used in an average home costs more than $2,200 a year and contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than a typical car. Looking at the Energy Star ratings on home appliances, cooling equipment, computers and entertainment devices can, collectively, make a large difference.

Here are some tips from EPA to save energy and help protect the environment at home and at work:

  • Set your programmable thermostat to save while you are away or asleep. Using it properly can save up to $180 per year in energy costs.
  • Run ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to create a wind-chill effect that will make you feel cooler. Remember that ceiling fans cool people, not rooms – so turn them off when you leave the room.
  • Inspect your duct system for obvious signs of leaks and disconnections (most houses leak 20 percent or more). Seal any leaks with foil tape or a special sealant called “duct mastic.” Also consider insulating ducts in unconditioned areas (like the attic, basement or crawlspace).
  • Seal air leaks around your home to keep the heat out and the cool air in. The biggest air leaks are usually found in the attic or basement, but also come in around doors, windows, vents, pipes and electrical outlets. Use caulk, spray foam or weather stripping to seal the leaks. And add more insulation to keep your home cooler this summer.
  • Maintain your cooling system. Check your system’s air filter every month at a minimum and change the filter every 3 months. Remove leaves, dirt and other debris from around the outdoor components to improve air flow and efficiency. Have a qualified professional tune-up your system with a pre-season maintenance checkup and, if it’s time to replace your old system, look for models that have earned EPA’s Energy Star.
  • Turn off office lights and equipment when not in use so they don’t generate unnecessary heat.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs in your desk lamp with Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs which use two-thirds less energy and generate less heat than conventional bulbs.

For more tips and tools to help save energy, visit: http://www.energystar.gov/

This article originally appeared on ENN, the Environmental News Network.

Visit the CleanTechies Bookstore for useful books on how to save energy at home, or follow the links below:

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  • http://www.greenhomesamerica.com Mike Rogers

    Good basic recommendations–there are a lot of simple things people can do. And there are deeper improvements that make homes more energy-efficient (and safer and more comfortable at the same time). A good step to go deeper is a home energy audit or assessment. Regarding the home energy audit, it’s important to get the right audit–accurate and actionable and looking at the right things like duct leakage, air infiltration, and equipment efficiency and combustion safety and an analysis of utility bills. For a bit more background on audits and additional links to EPA and DOE, follow my post at http://greenhomesamerica.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/home-energy-audits-2/

    Thanks and good luck!

    Mike

  • Jim Stack

    Yes, there are lots of simple things we can all do. They don’t sound like much but after millions of people do these they really add up.

    I’d suggest you change to LED lights. They are 10 times more efficient thqan CFL’s , run much cooler and last longer. They really add up.

    Another simple thing is to run electrical irtems off peak time of day. If we all did that it would save over 10% on everyones electric bill. If your on a Time Of Day plan you can save that directly.

  • http://www.sprayfoam.biz/ Satish

    I like you blog and I’d suggest you change to LED lights. They are 10 times more efficient thqan CFL’s , run much cooler and last longer. They really add up.

  • http://tinadepierre.blogspot.com/ Chrissie de Pierre

    Great little post! I’m going to forward it to my husband, he’ll be delighted. ~Tina

  • http://www.wowapic.com/ Henry

    Great post on energy saving!!! Enjoyed reading your articles…very thourough and inciteful. Thanks for the share!!!