Some of the easiest ways to save energy are the most overlooked. Just by replacing incandescent lights with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL.) you can do your part in saving energy. CFL bulbs also last 10,000 hours as opposed to the relatively short life of an incandescent light bulb’s 1,000-hour life. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are a little more expensive than traditional light bulbs, but over time they pay for themselves and continue to save you money. With an incandescent light bulb, only about 10%–15% of the electricity that the bulb consumes results in light—the rest is turned into heat. Turning the lights off will keep a room cooler, an extra benefit in the summer. With a CFL, for most areas of the United States, a general rule-of-thumb for when to turn off a fluorescent light is if you leave a room for more than 15 minutes. The CFL is so energy efficient that if you are leaving the room for a short period of time, it is more cost effective to keep the light on than to turn it off. If every person in the US replaced 5 of their incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs, it would save the same amount of green house gases being emitted by 100 million cars!
This can be accomplished by using dimmers and other lighting controls, and educating family members to turn off unneeded lights.
Lowering wattage, which involves replacing bulbs or entire fixtures with alternatives that provide the same amount or greater amounts of light with but with reduced electricity usage. Today, this can be accomplished most easily by replacing inefficient incandescent bulbs with incandescent/halogen bulbs or compact fluorescent bulbs.
Many appliances use electricity even when they're turned off. It's called a phantom load, or vampire electricity, and as much as 75% of the electricity used by home electronics and small appliances is used while they're turned off! The simple solution is to unplug small appliances and electronics when you aren't using them or plug them into a power strip and turn that off. Energy Star estimates that consumers can save between $60-$100 a year by unplugging appliances!
Turn off all lights and appliances when not in use (fans, humidifiers, A/C).
You can save 300 lbs of CO2 just by changing 3 frequently used incandescent bulbs with CFL’s. On average, CFL's use 60% less energy than a regular bulb and last five times longer!
Bring the beauty of pure, natural daylight into your entire home with day light harvesting systems.
Energy audits evaluate your home and look for ways to improve energy efficiency. You can hire a professional, or in some areas your gas or electric utility will do the audit for you. Inspectors often use thermography and other technologies to evaluate hidden leaks and insulation problems.
Share, repair, and reuse items whenever possible to reduce purchasing if economical. Consider the cost of shipping the products too. Farther products mean higher shipping and higher pollution for transport.
Reduce the load on your air conditioner with window film applied to windows that receive direct sunlight! Designed to reduce up to 76% of solar heat and block up to 99% of the ultraviolet rays.