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How To Conserve Energy And Help The Environment

Informative article on: How To Conserve Energy And Help The Environment
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), residential energy consumption uses approximately 21% of the total amount of energy consumed in the United Sates. There are a number of ways that you can help make your home more energy efficient. By reducing the amount of energy you consume in your home, you are contributing to the well being of our environment as well as saving money on your monthly bills. In the long run you may have saved thousands of dollars by just taking some small steps. Following are some suggestions you may find helpful in saving on your energy bill.

Step 1: In the Kitchen

• Do not use your automatic dishwasher unless it is fully loaded with dishes. You may also consider only using the air dry setting.
• Make sure your refrigerator is not located in close proximity of a heat source such as your stove or dishwasher as it will have to work that much harder to stay cool.
• Make sure you vacuum the refrigerator coils at least once every couple of months. Always make sure that nothing is obstructing the air to flow freely from the freezer's air flow vents.
• Set your refrigerator temperature to about 40 to 45 degrees and make sure the freezer is set at about 32 degrees.
• If you are looking to purchase a new refrigerator, try looking for a model that has the freezer on the top. This can easily use 20% less energy than one that has the freezer and refrigerator side by side.
• Keep in mind that an automatic ice maker will use more energy as well. You may want to consider not using it.
• When possible, use the microwave rather than the oven. It is much more energy-efficient to heat the microwave than the oven.

Step 2: In the Laundry Room

• Set load cycles to load sizes – small, medium, large and super capacity.
• Only wash full loads of clothing.
• Cold water washing uses less energy than hot water washing.
• Keep the lint filter clean.
• If possible, on sunny days you may want to consider hanging clothes on a clothesline to dry.
• Use Energy Star compliant washing machines and dryers.

Step 3: Assorted Energy Saving Tips

• Switch your light bulbs to the compact fluorescent or LED lights – they use less energy and last longer.
• Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter.
• Try utilizing the shower heads that save water. These shower heads normally come with a small button you can push to stop the water flow while you are washing or shampooing your hair.
• Do not allow toilets to run. If you notice a toilet is running, shut the water to the toilet off and have it repaired as soon as possible.
• Make sure you keep your hot water heater set at no higher than 120 degrees.
• Install solar hot water heaters.
• Weatherize doors and windows.
• Turn off lights when leaving the room.
• Reduce – Reuse – Recycle

There are many other ways to conserve energy and help the environment. It is just a matter of finding things to do that are within your capabilities. While it is true that many families aren’t able to go out and replace all their old appliances with new energy efficient models, everyone can learn to shut off the lights when they leave the room or turn off the television when it’s not in use. In terms of the life of the planet, a little conservation goes a very long way when added to the efforts of your neighbors.