Your impact on the environment extends beyond recycling and ditching single-use plastic. How you live at home matters, too.
“The decisions we all make about our energy and water consumption at home affect much more than our monthly bills,” says Ted Puzio, owner of Southern Trust Home Services, a Roanoke-based HVAC, plumbing and electrical company. “Making small adjustments to reduce water waste and increase your home’s energy efficiency will not only save money but also lessen our homes’ strain on the environment.”
Below are Puzio’s top tips.
Regularly check for leaks. Leaks, no matter how small, should never be ignored. The EPA states that only 10 drips per minute add up to more than 500 gallons of water wasted in a year, and more than 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons each day. Regularly check inside cabinets and around plumbing for signs of moisture, mold or rusty stains, and periodically test for leaks by turning off the water at the main valve. Watch the meter for activity, and call a professional if the leak can’t be found.
Reduce the runtime of your heating and cooling system. The most significant source of power consumption in the home, an inefficient system can wreak havoc on both bills and emissions. Annual maintenance by a licensed professional is recommended, and filters should be changed frequently to ensure smooth operation. To lower the runtime further, consider using ceiling fans to offset up to five degrees on the thermostat, and invest in a programmable thermostat to better control heating and cooling times.
Consider minor, inexpensive efficiency upgrades and adjustments. Investing in low-flow showerheads and new faucet aerators can further reduce water consumption, and choosing to completely unplug electronics when not in use can eliminate trickle charges. Also, purposefully seeking out more eco-friendly supplies, such as choosing an enzyme-based drain cleaner, is a better choice for the environment and easier on your plumbing.
Source: Southern Trust Home Services