Friday, May 26, 2017
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Home Energy, Utilities, and Safety - Getting Your Plan, Schedule and Goals in Place and the Importance of Keeping Track
by Andi Chrisman

Home energy tasks listed on myhomechannel.org have multiple benefits. These range from saving money, being greener, personal health, personal safety, future problem prevention and more.

Average Savings: $10 - $27 per month

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (D.O.E.), "Heating and cooling account for about 56% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home." Changing the air filter in your heating and cooling system is one of the most time and cost effective things you can do for your home. Myhomechannel reminds you to check your filter monthly on a monthly basis and to replace it every three months.
What happens if you donÕt replace your air filter? Your heating/cooling product will have to work harder to keep the room at the temperature you want. That means you will be paying more money, wasting energy, causing pollution, and harming your body by breathing in dust, pollen, and mold. If your machine becomes too overwhelmed by all this, it can actually destroy its motorŃa costly $300 expense! The U.S. Department of Energy also says that "keeping the filter clean can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by 5%Š15%" So donÕt risk it!

There are many items listed on the Exterior and page that need to be done every six months. This entire list can be completed in a day, but you donÕt have to do everything at once. Most items involve checking on things you donÕt always look at, like the roof, door handles, door locks, and outdoor lighting. Checking these every six months will make it easier for you to see when a small problem is occurring (before it turns into a big disaster!), and checking your locks can prevent an unwelcome guest in your home!

 

Average Savings: up to $54 per month

Another thing you should do is caulk. Caulk cracks in siding, around windows, doors, bathtubs, showers, sinks, and also check your weather-stripping. The D.O.E. says "Air infiltration can account for 30 percent or more of a homeÕs heating and cooling costs and contribute to problems with moisture, noise, dust, and the entry of pollutants, insects, and rodents." The D.O.E.Õs number one suggestion to fix air infiltration is caulking.
The American College of Allergists estimates that 50% of illnesses are caused by indoor air pollution. Caulking and proper ventilation are a big step towards decreasing your chance of illness. Always follow the directions on the caulking brand of your choice, as each one is different.

 

Average Savings: $14 - $20 per month

According the to D.O.E., "Artificial lighting consumes almost 15% of a household's electricity use. Use of new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in homes by 50%Š75%."
CF Bulbs are quickly coming down in price. I recently saw them as low as 80 cents a bulb, these prices are now comparable to regular bulbs. Since CF Bulbs are no longer an "investment", there is no reason not to fill your house with them! Replace all your bulbs with CF Bulbs, and then count how many you have. Type that number into your CF Bulb Savings (click here) and you will see how much youÕve saved everyday.

 

*Savings based on U.S. Department of Energy's average household consumption and savings figures.

 

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