May 16, 2012

Save the Earth vs. Utility Bill Reductions

People tend to fall into one of three camps. One group want to save the Earth, some tend to be in the "how do I keep my own $$$ by reducing my monthly bills." The last group want to do both. This is a compromise of saving the Earth and money by paying attention to energy used for utilities. Reducing energy demand saves the planet AND reduces your monthly utility bills (which saves you $$$).

Most households use a combination of water, electricity, and natural gas. Reducing your usage of EACH of those effectively reduces the demand on the earth for fossil fuels and your monthly bills. A "win-win-win" for all 3 groups, and it helps bring us all closer together.

The biggest demand on energy is through heating and cooling your home. Yearly inspections and tune-ups by an HVAC professional will help you keep your furnace and air conditioner in the most efficient condition. If they aren't performing at their peak, they will demand more energy which depletes both the Earth AND your wallet. But, there are some simple things you can do on your own:

Change your air filters. Both the furnace and air conditioner depend on air flowing through them to perform best. It is recommended to change them every month in the summer (for the air conditioner) and every 3 months in the other months for the furnace.

Install a programmable thermostat. It will adjust the demand of energy of the furnace/air conditioner for times that the home is unoccupied and overnight. Also lowering the temp in the winter and raising the temp in the summer reduces the energy demand and increases the money in your billfold.  Refer to Thermostat Setting entry for more details. Even if you can't install a programmable one, most thermostats are easy to change manually (like I have to do).

Closing the vents in rooms or areas of your home that are rarely used improves the way the air flows to the parts of the home that ARE frequently used. Obviously, if you live in an area that has dramatic weather in the summer or winter, this is difficult but the majority can consider this.

This is an overview but there will be separate entries about water, electricity, and natural gas. Check back occasionally to keep up with ways you can reduce the dependence/cost of them. "Going Green" helps both the Earth and your wallet.

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