Cut Utility Bills and Reduce Carbon Footprint
By Family Features
Want to cut your utility bills, enjoy a more
comfortable home this winter and curb pollution with a few easy
do-it-yourself energy upgrades? By spending about $100, you can expect
to save hundreds of dollars in energy bills while reducing carbon
dioxide emissions – or your carbon footprint – up to a couple
thousand pounds per year.
“The benefits of taking an afternoon to do these small tasks are
countless,” said Rodney Hawkins, General Manager of Momentive
Performance Materials, an exclusive licensee of General Electric. Unsealed
windows and doors and other inefficiencies translate into higher utility
costs and more harmful greenhouse gas emissions released into the
inexpensive product like GE Silicone II caulk can make a home cheaper to
heat, more comfortable because the heat is staying inside and the cold
air outside, and protected from wet weather damage.”
Consider implementing these easy and
inexpensive upgrades that can be completed in a couple of hours.
Seal windows and doors with silicone caulk.
leaking through gaps and cracks can add up to as much airflow as an open
window. Silicone caulk provides an exceptional airtight and watertight
seal to keep warm air inside the home.
Because silicone caulk is not water based, there is minimal
shrinking and cracking. Acrylic caulk is water based and some acrylics
shrink up to 25 percent. That
shrinkage may leave cracks and gaps, allowing air and water to move
through. A typical home can be sealed with four tubes of high-quality
caulk like GE Silicone II.
Wrap the water heater with a water heater blanket.
Water heating is the
third largest energy expense in the home. Insulating the water heater
will save energy and money. Gas water heaters should be insulated
carefully – check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Turn down the water heater thermostat.
Many manufacturers set thermostats at 140˚F, but 120˚F is usually hot enough for all hot water needs. Homeowners can save between 3 percent to 5 percent in energy costs for each 10˚F they reduce water temperature.
Install low-flow showerheads.
efficiency showerheads can cut hot water demand by an estimated 40
percent. They are inexpensive and easy to install.
Wash full loads of laundry – at a cooler temperature.
wash full loads to use less water, and switch the temperature setting
from hot to warm to cut the load’s energy use in half.
Install an electronic thermostat.
to experts, turning the heat on and off during the day in an effort to
save money actually uses significantly more energy than maintaining a
steady temperature. An electronic thermostat is easy to install and can
cut down on energy costs.
At $0.10/kwh, replacing a 60-watt incandescent bulb with a 13-watt CFL will save a consumer approximately $38 in energy savings over the life of the product.
For additional energy savings and how-to tips, and for information on home sealing, visit www.gehomesealing.com.
Courtesy of Family Features