Summer Energy Savings
Though the summer may be over soon, August can be the hottest month on
record for most of the country. With excessive heat comes excessive use
of your utilities. Constant use of air conditioners and sprinklers hurt
the environment and your pocketbook. There are many ways you can conserve
water and energy throughout your home.
In time of extreme heat, water can be a short commodity. Droughts cause many communities to put restrictions and limitations on water use. These actions need to make us think of ways to best conserve our water supply.
Start in the bathroom. Take shorter showers. The normal shower lasts between 8-10 minutes and uses roughly 18 gallons. A shower that lasts 3-4 minutes will use 7.5 gallons of water. Instead of standing out of the flow of water while soaping and shampooing simply turn the water off.
Older toilets (installed prior to 1994) use more water than newer ones. Replacing an old toilet with a new model can save a typical household 7,900 to 21,700 gallons of water per year. If you can’t replace your toilet, conserve water with an older toilet by filling a 1 gallon milk jug with water and placing it in the tank to displace the tank water.
Check for leaks that can also cause a waste of water. Avoid using harsh toilet bowl cleaners or tank tablets. They can damage plastic and rubber parts that could lead to leaks.
In the laundry room you can use your washing machine more effectively. Operate the washer with full loads; it is the most efficient way to wash clothes. Set your water volume setting to the minimum amount required per load. Check the washer hose for cracks that could cause costly leaks. Wash loads in cold water to save energy and lower your energy utility bill.
Use these tips when water restrictions are taking a toll on your lawn and garden. Maintain a lawn height of 2.5 to 3 inches. This protects the roots from heat stress and loss of moisture through evaporation. Collect rain in a large container and use it to irrigate your garden. You could also collect unused water during a shower. Choose plants that grow strong roots and can tolerate the heat.
You have to stay cool from the outside heat, which usually means running your air conditioner full blast for the better part of the day. A central or room air conditioner that is more than 10 years old could cost you double to cool your house.
Turn the lights off, this saves you energy and reduces unnecessary heat. Clean or replace your A/C filter to make sure it is running efficiently. Keep the house closed up during the daytime heat and open the windows with cooler evening temperatures. Using the oven can quickly warm a cool house, so use the microwave when possible.
Doing this will save you money in your pocket plus you will be earth conscious which benefits everyone.
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