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6 Easy Ways to Reduce Energy Waste at Home

By:  Ari  Bendersky  Abe's Market Contributor  April 22nd, 2013

Earth Day, an annual celebration of the things we can collectively and independently do to help save the environment, is April 22, when more than one billion people globally participate in Earth Day activities. Arbor Day, which encourages people to plant and care for trees, is April 26. Because of this Abe's Market is celebrating Earth Week all week with tips on how you can make your life, home, office, etc more eco-friendly; articles on ways you can be more green; images that show how people #LiveNatural and more. Join us as we celebrate Earth Week and all work together to make our planet a more livable place.

Easy Ways to Reduce Energy Waste at Home

Over the last few years, you likely have read numerous articles or tips saying you should replace your incandescent lightbulbs with more energy-efficient and longer-lasting compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Sure, up front they're more expensive than the older bulbs, but in the long run will save you money — and energy. That's probably the most common thing people do at home, but there are a number of other things you and your family can do that are just as easy and, in some cases, even less expensive.

6 Tips to Save Energy

  • Use a Programmable Thermostat : Replace your old thermostat with a programmable digital unit, which you can pick up at places like Amazon, Lowe's or Home Depot for as low as $25. By setting your heat and air conditioner to turn on, turn up or down or turn off at certain points throughout the day keeps your furnace or a/c unit from constantly running — and can potentially save you up to $150 a year. Another tip? Keep your shades closed in summer to reduce sun from beating into your rooms and heating things up and open in winter to warm up.
  • Install Ceiling Fans : You can use ceiling fans all year and they use a lot less energy than running the furnace or a/c. Ceiling fans can help circulate cooler air throughout your home in the summer and help push down warm air, which rises, during winter. Most fans have a switch to reverse the flow of the blades to either pull up (cooler) or push down (warmer) the air.
  • Unplug Appliances : You probably have a lot of small appliances, like a toaster, blender or coffee maker, plugged in all the time. Even when you don't run these things, they still draw electricity from the outlets. It may not seem like a lot, but over the course of a year, savings can add up. What about TVs and computers that you keep plugged in? Using a power strip can save energy, but you have to remember to turn it off. You could also get a Smart Strip , which senses when appliances are operating and cuts power when they're not.
  • Replace Furnace Filters : You should replace your furnace filter every one to three months, depending on the type of filter you buy. Some are more efficient, but regardless, a clean filter will help your furnace run better.
  • Clean Dryer Lint Traps & Vents : Not only is it a safety hazard to keep your dryer's lint trap and the dryer vent cluttered, but cleaning both regularly can also help save energy. Cleaning your lint trap each time after using the dryer and cleaning out the dryer vent annually will help your dryer run more efficiently. Plus, if you use dryer sheets, they can build up a film on the lint trap; clean it with soapy warm water and an old toothbrush twice a year to clean it.
  • Seal Cracks : If you live in an older home, chances of having air leaks is common. You can get caulk or weather stripping from your local hardware store. This is an inexpensive way to seal up air leaks to help reduce your heating and cooling costs.

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Ari Bendersky

Abe's Market Contributor

Ari Bendersky Ari joined Abe's Market after years of covering music, lifestyle, wine and food for the New York Times, AP, Rolling Stone, Eater, Huff Post and more. He lives naturally by biking, hiking, green juicing and avoiding high-fructose corn syrup at all costs.

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