Whether trying to save some extra cash on your energy bill or just trying to do your part to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, making a more energy efficient home takes the help of everyone. As a parent, sometimes it can be difficult to get the kids to join in, so here are some ideas that the kids (and you) can use to save energy around the house.
Turn off the Lights
We’ve all heard it and we all know it's important to turn off the lights. Helping your kids understand how important it is to turn off unused lights goes a long way. Also, if you haven’t done so yet, think about replacing any old lightbulbs with new energy efficient alternatives. Having energy efficient bulbs can reduce energy consumption by 30-80%. Over the years this is definitely something that adds up fast and can make a huge difference over time.
Power Down Electronics
The number of electronic devices in a house is almost difficult to count nowadays, and they could all be culprits for drawing extra power. Just powering down devices sometimes isn’t enough. Disconnecting them from the energy source could be needed. Consider using power strips, switching them off when the electronics in the room are powered down. This is an easy habit that both you and the kids can work on developing together. Don’t forget to unplug those phone and device chargers when they’re not in use.
Turn off the Water
Water conservation is an important issue itself, and conserving water can help conserve energy costs by decreasing the use of the water heater. Remind the kids to turn off the water while brushing their teeth or before rinsing the soap from their hands. Also talk about the importance of keeping showers under ten minutes. To help with water and energy consumption you can also install low-flow showerheads.
Use the Blinds
This is a strategy recommended by both EnergyStar and the Alliance to Save Energy. During the colder winter months keep the blinds and/or shades open to let in the heat from the sunlight. When it gets hot in the summer keep the sun out by drawing the blinds and closing the shades. It’s an easy enough task that even the kids can get in on.
Work Together to Spot Energy Inefficiency
The more eyes looking for a problem the more likely it can be spotted. Tell the kids to look out for windows that are letting in the cold or heat, leaky faucets, or old inefficient lightbulbs. That way you can quickly catch any inefficiency in your home and get it taken care of as soon as possible. There are even ways with new smart meters to monitor energy consumption in 30 minute increments, like the meters used by places like Lumo Energy.
Most important of all is talking with your kids and learning together about the importance of energy conservation. By doing this, we prepare a whole new generation to be energy minded. It really is amazing how much of a difference just one person can make over time.
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