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Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Diminishing Your Energy Consumption

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Reduce your carbon footprint
Reduce your carbon footprint

Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2016
By: J.P. Mascaro & Sons
Categories: Main Category

Saving energy does not require a lot of money or time. It simply requires knowledge, commitment, a plan and action.

By acknowledging and capturing the energy inefficiencies that you create or ignore on a daily basis, you can radically reduce your energy bills, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by power plants, ultimately reducing your carbon footprint. While new technologies and renewable energy sources are rising in popularity, energy efficiency remains the easiest and single most cost-effective method of reducing energy consumption. According to the EPA, the most energy-efficient buildings in America use 35 percent less energy than common buildings, without trading performance or comfort.

Today’s commercial tenants and home dwellers alike are aggressively seeking to inhabit real estate that will lower their annual utility bills. In this environmentally-aware age, more consumers and employees are actively seeking to partner with organizations that they perceive to be environmentally responsible and ecofriendly.

Best Overall Practices Everywhere

  • Turn off the lights when the party’s over… or when they’re not in use or when natural daylight is entirely sufficient. Sunlight is FREE! Open the curtains and – like they sang in the “Hair” musical – let the sunshine in!
  • Use task lighting wherever possible rather than illuminating the entire room.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescents or LEDs (sorry, Lava Lamps do not pass the litmus test).
  • Replace old fluorescent tubes with new energy-efficient tubes including LEDs that are 41% more efficient.
  • Adjust your thermostats! Each degree of change can save 1% of energy consumption.
  • Block the sun during the cooling season and let it shine through during the heating season.
  • Capture the power of the sun and the wind by installing solar panels and windmills to generate electricity and heat.
  • Make sure that areas in front of vents are clear of furniture and other obstructions (and make sure your vents are open). As much as 25 percent more energy is required to distribute air if your vents are blocked.

Reduce at Home

Increasing energy efficiency in your home can help to lower energy bills, increase comfort and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If your house is too hot (for the hot tub) or too cold (for the shoulder); if your curtains flap like a Fargo flag in February, or if you experience damned ice dams on the roof; you can do better. These are all symptoms of homes that are in serious need of an energy upgrade.

  • Seal air leaks by replacing and repairing caulk, insulation or weather stripping around windows and doors, in the attic and in basement perimeter. Passing a lit candle around the interior of closed windows and doors will reveal what’s leaking air and where. Compressed spray-foam insulation in a can is an excellent way to seal around pipes and to seal cracks in basement walls. Use only minimal-expansion spray foam around windows and doors to prevent adversely affecting the operation of the unit.
  • Reduce ice damming on the roof by properly insulating the ceiling between your heated space and your attic. Ensure the proper ventilation and airflow of your attic between the top of the insulation and the roof sheathing by installing proper attic ventilation in the soffits, gables, and ridges.
  • Replace leaking and inefficient windows and doors with new energy-efficient Low-E alternatives installed by a professional using proper and adequate insulation and caulk.

Reduce at School and Work

According to the U.S. government’s Energy Star statistics, the average commercial building wastes 30% of the energy that it consumes. The good news is if you haven’t lifted a finger to save energy until now – much like a teen pop star - you’ve left yourself plenty of room for improvement. It won’t cost you a dime to save the dollars! Good energy management is good business. Organizations can often save from 2-10 percent annually through improved energy management. Here are just a few insights to inspire your initiative:

  • What lurks in the night? Conduct a nighttime audit to flush out the energy-sucking vampires that are prowling in the dark. Optimize start-up and power-down times of all equipment by utilizing automatic timers or strict scheduling practices.
  • Examine revising janitorial schedules to reduce the number of hours that the lights are burning bright each day.
  • Inspect heating and cooling equipment for peak operating efficiency every month.
  • Visually inspect pipe and duct insulation regularly and repair any tears or compressed areas.
  • Enable the power management function on office computers, printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners and multifunction devises which automatically slaps the sleeper hold on them while not in use.
  • Set the thermostat to reasonable levels (cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer) during the evening hours and other times when the building is unoccupied, by utilizing automatic timers or strict scheduling practices.
  • Change or clean HVAC filters monthly during peak cooling and heating seasons.
  • Every time you purchase new equipment, ensure that it is energy efficient.

Knowledge is power. Be responsible and put your energy consumption on a permanent diet. Force your obese, energy-squandering habits to step on the scale every month and be held responsible for shedding the pounds of waste caused by complacency, apathy and negligence.  Saving energy does not require a lot of money or time. It simply requires knowledge, commitment, a plan and action.

 

 

Tagged:Green, Recycle, Recycling, Education, Sustainability, Environment, Evironmental Responsibility, Earth, Planet, Carbon Footprint, Energy Consumption

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