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Earth Day: What You Can Do to Save Energy at Home

Updated: 04/22/2014 4:16 PM
Created: 04/22/2014 4:13 PM WDIO.com

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is declaring that the 44th Annual Earth Day is a call to action for Minnesota communities and residents to rekindle their passion for a cleaner environment.

They’re offering some advice about steps you can take to save energy in your home:

  • Get an advanced energy assessment - A home energy assessment, with advanced diagnostic equipment, will evaluate the performance of your home and the safety of mechanical systems and will determine what energy improvements are needed. Assessments can be scheduled through your utility.
  • Seal air leaks - An enormous amount of energy is wasted when inside air (either heated or cooled) escapes to the outside through leaks in attics, walls, windows and doors.
  • Check mechanical systems - Water heaters, air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, gas fireplaces and ventilation systems should be inspected regularly to keep them operating efficiently and safely.
  • Heat and cool efficiently - Replace old, inefficient heating and air conditioning systems with new high-efficiency options. Seal ductwork and bleed radiators.
  • Install a programmable thermostat - Programming your thermostat allows you to be comfortable when you are home and save energy when you are away or asleep.
  • Control hot water use - Use low-flow showerheads. A standard showerhead can use up to 5.5 gallons of water a minute; low-flow showerheads deliver a high pressure spray at less than 2 gallons per minute. Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees; and wash clothes in cold water.
  • Replace light bulbs - Replace old incandescent light bulbs with more efficient CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) or LEDs (light emitting diodes). CFLs, for instance, use about one-third of the energy and last up to 10 times longer than a traditional incandescent bulb with the same light output.
  • Buy ENERGY STAR® products - Look for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing new household products. ENERGY STAR signifies strict energy efficiency guidelines.
  • Invest in renewable energy - After employing basic energy efficiency and conservation measures in your home, consider installing a solar or wind energy system or another form of clean energy to help power your home, or purchase green power from your utility.
  • Use public transportation or carpool or bike to work.
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