This guest post is by Liz Childers of Grandview Outdoor.
Even for the most energy conscious person, it can be hard to make your living space as efficient as possible. The primary reasons for this are money and inability. It is expensive to revamp your home to be solar powered or have all new energy efficient appliances. And for those living in a rented space, you do not have the ability to make big changes. Thankfully, there are ways to make huge changes to your energy use without breaking the bank or your lease. Here are five steps you can take today.
If you live in an older home or apartment, your windows might be the greatest source of energy loss. Many older windows are ill fitting so your indoor air that you spent money heating or cooling to a comfortable temperature is simply leaking outside. Older windows are also single-paned, which means they are poorly insulated. While buying new windows is an expensive undertaking, you can add good insulation for a fraction of the cost. Insulated curtains are available in all styles and sizes. These curtains are two-ply and block the flow of indoor and outdoor air, as well as, doing a better job of blocking outdoor light. For a relatively inexpensive cost, insulated curtains can keep your home the temperature you want it to be without having wasted energy seep through old windows.
Low Flow Faucets
Your standard showerhead gives you a steady flow of about six gallons per minute. While you may be in love with that relaxing stream of hot water, consider the amount of water that you actually need to shower – and how much is going down the drain. A low flow faucet cuts the water flow to about 2.5 gallons per minute, which is a great difference. Low flow showerheads are easy to buy at your local hardware store and are simple to screw onto most faucets. You can also adapt all your sinks in the same way!
Use Surge Protectors or Power Strips
A common remedy for wasted power is to unplug all your appliances when they are not being used. As we are regularly reminded, plugs use energy, even when the device is not being used. No matter how frequently this tip comes up, it is still easily forgotten or ignored for the sake of convenience when you have a multitude of electronics plugged into outlets. To make it easy on yourself, plug your appliances into power strips and plug the single power strip into the outlet. This way, there is only one device to unplug. To make it even easier, opt for a newer style of power strip that has a remote control; you won’t have to feel behind the couch for the plug anymore!
Change Air Filters
Your air conditioning system’s air filter does exactly what it says – it filters the air before it gets sent back into your home, either heated or cooled to your comfortable temperature. Imagine how much dirt your vacuum cleaner has after you clean the house; your air filter is doing the same thing for the air. Therefore, a grime filled filter is going to perform worse and take longer, which leads to low energy efficiency. Change your filter at least every three months, and every single month during the summer and winter when the air system is getting the heaviest use.
Switch to Florescent Bulbs
While florescent bulbs cost a tad bit more than incandescent light bulbs to which you may be accustomed, the trade off is worth it. Florescent bulbs last longer and save you an astonishing amount of energy – especially after long term use.
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