When we think about New Year’s resolutions, we often think of ways to live a healthier lifestyle, see more of the world, or consume fewer material goods. However, with more Americans hoping to live more sustainably, why not make one of your resolutions this year to focus on living a more eco-friendly life?
Now is the perfect time to resolve to reduce your carbon footprint. Here are some simple ways to make 2023 your cleanest, greenest, year ever!
Unplug Your “Energy Vampires”
Some of your appliances and electronics spend all day siphoning off precious energy that you have to pay for! Even when you’re not using these devices. These are known as “energy vampires.”
An average home can see about 10% of its energy use go to energy vampires. The largest culprits? Computer equipment, televisions, and sound systems. Any device with an external power supply is likely using more energy than you’d expect, even while turned off. Unplugging these devices when not in use only takes a few seconds, but can add up to some serious savings! Click here to learn more on recognizing potential energy vampires in your home.
Upgrade to Energy Star Appliances
If you’ve looked at appliances over the last few decades, you’ve probably come across the Energy Star label. Products that are labeled must meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. These appliances must be energy efficient, use fewer resources, contribute to significant energy savings, and require the features and performance preferred by consumers. In fact, manufacturers must prove that their product meets Energy Star specifications by testing it in an EPA-recognized laboratory several times. The appliances are tested for energy efficiency to ensure that the energy savings are delivered without compromising their efficacy.
At CleanSky Energy, we believe that using inefficient appliances isn’t just harmful to the environment, they can be a significant drain on your wallet as well. Making an investment in more efficient home appliances can help you save hundreds of dollars per year on your energy bill and help to reduce your carbon emissions. You may also be eligible for tax credits or rebates when you upgrade. That’s a win, win!
Turn Off the Lights
You probably heard this as a child: “Turn off the lights when you leave a room!” As much as we hate to admit it, our parents were right. Not only does turning off lights when not in use lower your electric bill, but doing so also allows your bulbs to last longer which leads to buying new bulbs less frequently. Both LED and incandescent bulbs should be turned off when you leave a room, even if you’re planning to come back just two minutes later. Like any new habit, it will take time and effort before turning off the lights becomes second nature to you, but will definitely pay off in the end.
Did you know that the average American household has around 40 light bulbs? It’s true! However, it is important to know that all lightbulbs aren’t created equal. Energy-efficient LED bulbs may cost more upfront, but will last much longer than their incandescent counterparts. Incandescent bulbs also produce more heat. In the summertime, this can cause your HVAC to work harder when attempting to cool your home. LED bulbs use much less energy (up to 75% less) than incandescent bulbs because diode light is much more efficient, power-wise, than filament light. Replacing all those lightbulbs in your home could result in savings of up to $300 per year.
Pay Attention to Your Thermostat
Did you know that reducing your thermostat by even just two degrees can decrease your carbon emissions by 2,000 pounds per year? You can even do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat, rather than manually setting it yourself each time you change the temperature of your home. Alternatively, you can save up to 10% a year on your heating and cooling expenses just by setting your thermostat back 7° to 10° for 8 hours each day. Adjust your thermostat before leaving for work or before bed each day and you could potentially see real savings on your electricity bill.
You can also research upgrading to a smart thermostat or other smart home devices. Smart thermostats have made it easier than ever to monitor your energy consumption, and control your thermostat right from your phone. What’s even better is that smart thermostats offer numerous control mechanisms, like adaptable timers and room-specific settings, which give you more control over how much energy you’re using. In addition to smart thermostats, there are also smart fans, appliances, plugs, and sensors. Intrigued? CleanSky Energy’s recent blog post on the top energy-saving smart home devices is a great place to learn more .
Adjust Your Washing and Drying
Unfortunately, doing laundry and dishes is a part of the cycle of life for most of us. If upgrading to more energy-efficient appliances isn’t in the cards for you this year, there are still a few things you can do to help reduce your carbon footprint with the appliances you already own. Doing full loads, rather than half loads, is an easy way to save energy. That goes for washing and drying both your laundry and your dishes in the dishwasher. You can also set your water heater at 120° F rather than 140° F, which will help you save energy when still doing laundry with warm or hot water.
Technology when it comes to detergents has come a long way, allowing you to opt for cold water washes while still being able to break up stains and dirt in lower temperatures. Avoid the sanitizing cycle unless completely necessary, as it uses significantly more energy. When drying clothes, ensure that the lint screen and dryer sensors are always clean or opt for line drying.
Now that CleanSky Energy has equipped you with attainable resolutions for 2023, let’s make it our most sustainable year to date! Cheers to a cleaner and greener year!