Happy Green Tuesday, everyone! Since I am not a morning person, Daylight Saving Time each spring is a hard one for me—it seems to be happening earlier and earlier! Well, that’s because of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which mandated a month-long extension of Daylight Saving Time starting in 2007.
Daylight Saving Time is somewhat controversial in that some believe this change in time doesn’t really save energy, but in a report to Congress in 2008, the Department of Energy said that springing forward does save Energy. According to the report, extended daylight saving time saved 1.3 terawatt hours of electricity. That figure suggests that daylight saving time reduces annual U.S. electricity consumption by 0.03 percent and overall energy consumption by 0.02 percent. That may seem like a tiny amount, but given our nation’s enormous energy use, that could represent some major savings. Whether you think Daylight Saving Time is a good idea or a ridiculous one, saving energy is important for our wallet and our planet! Below are some tips from the U.S. Department of Energy (www.energysavers.gov)—beyond waking up an hour earlier—that can help you prepare for the warm months ahead:
To combat the summer sun, install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows.
Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
Summer is a time for vacations! Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to get the temperature just right.
If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).
On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.
Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows, so the cool stays inside.
What do you do to stay cool and go Green? Let us know by commenting below. Have a tip for Green Tuesday? Let us know at Green@wnco.com.