What should you do if the groundhog sees his shadow Friday and there’s six more weeks of winter?
Hiding is tempting, we know.
We have a better plan. Below are six actions you can take to seal out the cold and create a more energy efficient built environment to reduce your carbon footprint. Did you know residential and commercial buildings account for 40 percent of energy costs in the United States? Now that the U.S. has pulled out of the Paris climate accord, it’s more important than ever for individuals and businesses to do their part to make the buildings we live and work in energy efficient.
Top Six Things To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint:
- First air seal your attic.
Then insulate it. Before you do anything else. The U.S. government’s Energy Star program has a handy guide a to help you determine if your house needs this and whether you should hire a contractor.
- Install Indow window inserts.
The U.S. Department of Energy found that Indow inserts reduced the heating and cooling costs in a Seattle home by 20 percent. That’s a big deal.
- Clean or replace furnace filters once a month.
Dirty filters can force the system to work harder, reducing its efficiency.
- Install a programmable thermostat
Thermostats like NEST will automatically turns down the heat when needed.
- Turn down the water heater
By turning your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, you will conserve energy while still enjoying a hot shower.
- Contact the non-profit Building Performance Institute (BPI)
BPI will help you find a home performance contractor who will do a home energy audit and find ways to reduce your energy usage whether it’s through weather stripping or a ductless heat pump. That person will assess your home and figure out what works best for you.