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There Are the Big Steps
A major commitment in time, money and effort is to completely revamp your energy supply system. By installing solar panels on your roof or a wind turbine in your yard, you can create enough clean, renewable power to run your own home and even make some money selling power back to your local power company. Putting in a geothermal heating and air conditioning system will pay for itself within the first year because of the savings in energy costs, and the current energy tax credits.
Sell your gas guzzler and buy a more energy efficient car, or even a hybrid. You may miss the comfort of the monster SUV, but you will appreciate the lower gas bills and the extra room in your garage.
But the Small Steps Add Up
Cut back on energy wasting luxuries such as big screen T.V.s, ear blasting stereo systems, home pools and saunas. Do an audit of your home and decide what can be eliminated. Hey, if you got rid of some of the T.V.s, maybe you would actually see your kids and have a conversation instead of texting them in their room.
Turn off the lights! It can’t be emphasized enough. Assign a family member each week to be the electric police, in charge of turning off anything electrical that is not being used, such as lights, T.V,s and stereos.
Get An Energy Audit (and follow its recommendations)
Your energy supply company will be happy to come to your home and find any weak spots that may be wasting energy. The usual culprits are old windows, leaky window and door frames, poor insulation, etc. Replace old windows and if your window frames are causing your heat to escape, have them recaulked, or put in the new expandable foam to prevent this leakage. Many of these items may be eligible for a tax credit.
Energy Saving Scams
Now for what doesn’t work to save energy at home…
Blow in wall insulation: It usually doesn’t install sufficient insulation, and there is no way for the homeowner to check, without tearing the walls down.
Replacing new windows, with the claim they are more energy efficient.: If your windows are fairly new, they are probably a good fit, and claims that a window is simply “energy efficient” will not improve anything.
Air duct cleaning: Air ducts are very wide today, and so not enough dust can really accumulate to prevent heat or cooling from flowing through.
Aluminum storm doors in newer houses: The doors installed recently are energy efficient in their own right.
Congratulations on doing your part on the home front to save energy and help the environment.