Green Tip of the Month: Summer Conservation
Stay cool the smart way
For a no-cost way to keep your home a little cooler, keep the windows and blinds closed during the day, and at night, turn off the AC and open the windows. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, so be sure to turn them off when you leave the area. Clean air conditioner filters, and set the thermostat to 78° F or higher.
Be wary of wasting water
Electricity isn’t the only source of energy consumption; water makes up much of a home’s usage as well. Remember to turn off the faucet while brushing teeth, and check for cracks and leaks at the sink. If you’ve got a dishwasher, run it (fully-loaded): it uses less water than doing dishes by hand. Consider the fact that one bath uses 30 to 40 gallons of water, and instead try a low-flow showerhead, which uses less than three gallons a minute. If you’ve got a lawn or garden, water it only in the evening when evaporation is less likely to occur.
Be an energy star
ENERGY STAR appliances cut back on inefficient energy use. Buy ENERGY STAR certified lamps and light fixtures, and compact fluorescent bulbs. If your AC is on its last leg, invest in a new, efficient ENERGY STAR model. All appliances use energy when they’re plugged into an outlet, even if they’re not on. Use advanced power strips that centrally shut down all appliances and save energy. When cooking, avoid the stove: try a toaster oven or outdoor grill instead.
Did You Know?
A single drop of water per second out of a leaky faucet can waste as much as 10 gallons of water a week — that’s throwing hundreds of dollars down the drain each year.