Question submitted by Courtney D. of South Riding, VA.
Courtney, since you're asking about being more environmentally friendly, we assume you already know to do things like recycle your water bottles and use fabric grocery bags, but when it comes to utilities you're not the only one at a loss as to how to "green up" your home. If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint (and your utility bills!), follow these five tips to get started. We'll show you how to green up your utilities!
- Invest in new appliances. Installing energy-efficient dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines is a great way to make your home greener and more energy efficient. Although this requires some money up front, you can potentially save a significant amount of money on utility bills over the life of the machine. If the idea of purchasing a houseful of new appliances is daunting, take it a step at a time: pick the most outdated appliance and replace it first. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Any steps toward greener living are good for the planet and your wallet, too.
- Inquire about “green” utilities. Many local utility companies offer green energy and electricity options that are provided from 100 percent renewable sources (such as wind). Give your company a call to see if this is an option in your area. The best part: you’d be spending money on utilities anyway, so you might as well make it green energy.
- Cut down on electricity usage. If you’re not sure you’re ready to take the plunge for new appliances or green energy, cut back on the energy you do use. Hand wash that batch of dishes instead of putting the through the dishwasher. Unplug those vampire appliances. Line-dry your clothes (bonus: it’s better for your clothes!). Small steps add up to make a big impact.
- Insulation, insulation, insulation. Make sure your home and your appliances are properly insulated. Check for drafts, leaks, and any other means in which water or energy can escape. Make sure that everything in your home is running at peak efficiency – which means not letting any of that air-conditioned air escape.
- Turn down the AC (or the heat). The biggest percentages of power generally goes into heating or cooling a home. With a long, hot summer looming on the horizon, it’s tempting to crank up the AC as far as it will go. But adjusting the thermostat by just a couple of degrees can make a big impact in your energy usage – and your utility bill! Put on a pair of shorts and pour yourself a big glass of water. You’ll be fine, we promise.
This is a great question for those who want to conserve energy and money! Contact F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning at (703) 491-1234 to learn more about "Greening-Up" your utilities for maximum savings. Visit us online and schedule an appointment.