Environmental issues are getting an ever growing number of mentions in newspapers, on television and on the internet, increasingly making society aware of how our everyday behavior will one day have a catastrophic impact on our planet unless we start to change. Unfortunately, the thought of making a small contribution to a long term process doesn’t encourage people sufficiently to want them to make a difference to help reduce their carbon footprints. This is where money and savings can have a vital role! An upside of rising energy prices is that people are getting much savvier when it comes to potential savings to be made through improving their household’s energy efficiency to save money in the long run, thus indirectly cutting emissions. This is a quick guide to where in your home you could potentially make the greatest savings, and it also provides the the payback periods of different energy saving products for your home to help quantify which options are the most valuable. Disclaimer: this is a rough guide to give you a good place to start investigating, so all figures are approximate.
Change your shower heads. This will slash water use from 30% to 45% in your shower, and will cut costs by approximately $0.35 for every 10 minutes of use.
Seal any leaks in your air conditioning ducts. These are particularly likely at joints and corners, even when the ducts are wrapped with insulation. These are so harmful to efficiency because any gaps could be pulling in air up to 130F from the attic into your air conditioning system when you’re trying to cool the house in Summer, or as cold as 0F from air outside the house when you’re trying to heat your property in winter. This process done by a professional will cost a couple of hundred dollars, but will only take about 1.5 years to pay itself off.
Programmable thermostats are a great way to reduce bills and energy waste by ensuring you don’t heat up or air condition your property needlessly; if you’re at work, who cares if it’s hot in your house?! They cost from $100 to $125 to install, but if used properly will start saving you $200/year in an average sized home, or much more for a commercial property, hence it’s another measure which can pay itself off in under a year.
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