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home energy efficiencySaving energy in 2016 is a great idea. Starting off the year with an idea that can both save money for your family and be good for the environment is a win for everyone. We have several ideas how you can start the year off right by conserving energy.

 

Water

You probably already use less water at this time of year, if you are not watering your lawn or your landscaping. This is a great time of year to develop good water conservation habits in other areas of your home.

  • Shorten your showers and take fewer baths. Baths use substantially more water than showers, and taking a 6-minute shower instead of a 10-minute one can add up to big savings over time.
  • Run your dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads. Hand washing dishes is also a waste of water, especially if you are letting the water run while you scrub pots and pans.
  • Make sure that none of your faucets are dripping. One slow dripping faucet can waste several gallons of water a day, which adds up to several hundred over a year.
  • Set a good example with your kids. Turn off faucets while you are brushing your teeth or washing your hands. Every little bit adds up, and teaching your kids to practice good habits will help with conserving.

Electricity

  • If replacing all of your lightbulbs seems too expensive or daunting, replace your 5 most used light bulbs with CFLs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs have a higher initial cost, but they last for hundreds of hours, and save substantial energy.
  • Use the smallest appliance you need while cooking. If you are making toast, use a toaster instead of heating up your entire oven. Use a crockpot instead of having your oven on for hours to cook a roast.
  • Turn your lights off. Sounds simple enough, but bad habits can creep up on us. Make a point of turning off lights whenever you leave a room, and get your family to develop the same good habits.
  • Consider plugging electronics into power strips, and turning them off when not in use. Even electronics that are turned off but plugged in can suck energy. Several of these throughout your home can add up to quite a bit of wasted energy.

Natural Gas

  • If you use natural gas for heating, you can conserve by keeping your furnace functioning. Have your furnace serviced at least once a year, and replace furnace filters as often as recommended. A dirty furnace will run efficiently and waste energy.
  • Keep your thermostat as low as is comfortable. While you don’t want the indoor temperatures to be unsafe, you also should not feel a summery warmth indoors during a Colorado winter. Aim for 65-68 degrees, and know that it can be lower at night than during the day.
  • If your water heater is old or failing, replace it with a high-efficiency water heater. Old water heaters use an exorbitant amount of energy, and newer ones can make a significant impact on your energy use.

Make 2016 the year that you work on conserving energy. All of these changes are easy to implement and painless for your family to implement also. Enjoy making the changes and seeing the savings add up quickly!

 

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