Blog written by Findorff's Sustainability Lead Ben Austin, LEED® AP BD+C, WELL AP, Fitwel Ambassador
Today is Earth Day! Wisconsin's very own Senator Gaylord Nelson was the founder of Earth Day and this year marks its 50th anniversary. As we celebrate this environmental movement, Findorff is proud of the holistic approach we take in our sustainable efforts. From assessing human factors in the built environment to developing ecological building solutions, we are committed to making a difference in our communities. Considering this and today's unprecedented times, where many of us are at home more, I wanted to share some ideas that can help you save energy around the house. In turn, you may even save money on your utility bills. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?!
Try these energy-saving tips:
- Check your air filters: Air filters improve the air quality in your home. How often you should change them can depend on your HVAC unit and the type of air filter itself. For example, some fiberglass filters need to be changed every month, while pleated filters can last up to six months. By replacing your air filters when necessary, your heating system will operate more efficiently.
- Wash your clothes in cold water: For every load of laundry, 90 percent of the energy used by the washer is to heat the water. Washing your clothes in cold water can help reduce your energy use and save you money.
- Set back your thermostat at night: You can save much energy by lowering the temperature of your thermostat by five to ten degrees before you go to bed each night. If making this adjustment seems daunting, consider a smart thermostat. It can automatically adjust the temperature of your home at a preset time.
- Lower the temperature of your water heater: Oftentimes, the default temperature of water heaters is 140°F. Try lowering this setpoint to 120°F to save money on your energy bills. To learn how you can make this change, check out the instructional video on the Department of Energy's website.
- Seek out free offerings available in your local community: In Wisconsin, Focus on Energy is the state's utility incentive program. It offers a range of incentives to Wisconsin homeowners. A great example of this is Focus on Energy's Free Packs, which offer one of six energy-savings options to select from. They can include a variety of LED light bulbs, smart power strips, high-efficiency shower heads, pipe insulation, or faucet aerators to meet your needs. To get a Free Pack today, click here. Other residential incentives are also available. They can even include smart thermostats mentioned in the third tip. If you live outside of Wisconsin, check your local utility incentive program for options.
From firsthand experience, I can tell you that these energy-saving tips work. For example, when I started adjusting my thermostat to a lower temperature each night before bed, my energy bills were $25 less per month. In turn, not only am I reducing my environmental footprint, but I'm also saving a few bucks. Hopefully you find these tips useful, especially while we are all adjusting to a new normal.
If you are curious to learn more about how Findorff is making a positive impact in the built environment, make sure to check out our sustainability page.