Easy ways to save en­ergy at home

The Progress-Index - At Home - - News -

Whether you are mo­ti­vated to help the planet or sim­ply want to slash home en­ergy and wa­ter bills, there are easy steps to re­duce your home’s car­bon foot­print.

“To­day more than ever, we see the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact we have on our com­mu­ni­ties by the choices we make daily -- from the food we eat to the way we run our homes. While it’s easy to pre­tend th­ese choices don’t mat­ter, it’s even eas­ier to take steps to live more sus­tain­ably and feel good about it,” says Brett Beitzel, a brand man­ager at Amana, a house­hold ap­pli­ances man­u­fac­turer fo­cused on en­cour­ag­ing con­sumers to re­duce their car­bon foot­prints.

There are sev­eral places in your home where you can take small steps to­ward a smaller car­bon foot­print.

Kitchen

Be­come more aware of what you put in your shop­ping bas­ket. In­clude more lo­callyand or­gan­i­cally-grown and raised pro­duce and meat in your diet. Avoid overly-pack­aged prod­ucts and eat sus­tain­ably caught or farmed fish. Th­ese choices are of­ten health­ier, too.

You can also make a sub­stan­tial im­pact by re­plac­ing your old re­frig­er­a­tor with a newer en­ergy-sav­ing model. Com­pared to pre-2000 mod­els, newer re­frig­er­a­tors can use up to 41 per­cent less en­ergy. As one of the few ap­pli­ances that run con­stantly, that means a lot of en­ergy and cost sav­ings.

Luck­ily, en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious home ap­pli­ance man­u­fac­tur­ers, such as Amana, are go­ing above the Depart­ment of En­ergy’s cur­rent us­age guide­lines by mak­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency a pri­or­ity with newer mod­els.

You can also find ef­fi­cient dish­wash­ers that save wa­ter and en­ergy. But even with a newer model, you’ll want to be sure you’re only run­ning the ma­chine when full. For max­i­mum sav­ings, look for EN­ERGY STAR qual­i­fied mod­els on all ap­pli­ances.

Garage

Cars that don’t have prop­erly in­flated tires ac­count for a 10 per­cent in­crease on fuel costs. Check tire pres­sure reg­u­larly to en­sure op­ti­mum per­for­mance. And tune up your bike so you can use it more of­ten!

Un­for­tu­nately, the garage is also where many send their old re­frig­er­a­tors to store ex­tra soda. Re­search shows that 10 mil­lion “sec­ond” re­frig­er­a­tors cost con­sumers an aver­age of $1.62 bil­lion yearly in en­ergy costs. For a cool move, make all your re­frig­er­a­tors en­ergy ef­fi­cient.

Laun­dry Room

The way you launder your clothes can im­pact lo­cal water­ways. Look for eco- friendly de­ter­gents and opt for the con­cen­trated form to re­duce plas­tic con­sump­tion. Wash clothes in cold wa­ter when­ever pos­si­ble and don’t leave them in the dryer longer than nec­es­sary.

Con­sider re­plac­ing your washer and dryer with newer en­ergy-sav­ing mod­els. Not only may this qual­ify you for re­bates from state or lo­cal util­ity com­pa­nies, your wa­ter sav­ings and en­ergy sav­ings will add up. Front load wash­ing ma­chines are great choices, as con­ven­tional top-load wash­ing ma­chines built be­fore 2004 use 81 per­cent more en­ergy and 77 per­cent more wa­ter than some newer mod­els.

You can learn more about how to save en­ergy and money by us­ing eco-friendly ap­pli­ances at www.Amana.com.

It’s your planet and you have the power to treat it well, start­ing at home.

STATEPOINT PHOTO

Wash clothes in cold wa­ter when­ever pos­si­ble and don’t leave them in the dryer longer than nec­es­sary.

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