3 Ways To Take Control Of Your Home’s Biggest Energy And Water Guzzlers

electricity conservationFifty-eight percent of the energy the U.S. generates is wasted, according to the Energy Collective. The U.S. Energy Administration reports that energy use by the residential sector has increased dramatically over the past 60 years. Where are you losing energy? Learn about three home energy guzzlers and how to take back control of your energy consumption.

Washers and Water Efficiency

The average American home washes 400 loads of laundry each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many of these households are not using green, energy-efficient options that can save money and energy. The average washer uses 41 gallons of water per load and is the second-largest water user inside of the home. New high-efficiency models use up to 50 percent less water and energy than older washers per load. The EPA states that if all U.S. households were to install water-efficient washers, the U.S. would save upwards of 3 trillion gallons of water a year which could lead to savings of $18 billion dollars annually. Energy Star-labeled appliances are proven to reduce both water and energy use. And, washing machines that have cycle and load setting prove to be more water and energy-efficient than models without the adjustments. So, if your laundry room is a source of water waste, consider upgrading your outdated appliances.

Additionally, washing your clothes in cold water instead of warm or hot water saves energy, too. The Department of Energy recommends washing your clothes in cool water whenever you can. They also suggest switching hot water temperatures to warm or cold settings. Simply switching the setting from hot to warm can cut your energy use in half.

Your Smartphone Uses More Energy Than the Fridge

Believe it or not, your cellphone uses more energy than an Energy Star-rated refrigerator. That’s according to a recent report by the Digital Power Group. The 2013 report states that an average iPhone uses more energy for battery charging, wireless connectivity and data use than a medium-sized Energy Star fridge.

You can easily reduce your energy use at home by unplugging your chargers and other electronics when they are not in use. According to the Department of Energy, five to 10 percent of your home’s energy consumption comes from electronic devices that use standby power.

Enhance your Pools Efficiency

The Consortium for Energy Efficiency reports that standard pool pumps contribute to 70 percent of a pool’s energy use. In some cases, pool pumps will run unmonitored for 24 hours or more, when it only takes six hours of run time to effectively clean the pool, according to Green Building Advisor. The Department of Energy suggests reducing energy use by installing a solar pool heater. The system will include a solar collector, filter, pump and a flow control valve. The Department of Energy states that a solar pool heating system will cost between $3,000 and $4,000, but homeowners will quickly recoup their investments–although cost and payback will depend on your location. Homeowners can even earn a $1,400 tax credit by installing a solar heating system, according to NC Solar.

Solar heated pools require special products to keep them running efficiently. Online retailers like PoolCenter.com will ship your liquid solar heating products directly to your doorstep. Pro Series Liquid Cover, for example, helps to conserve hundreds of gallons of water by decreasing the evaporation of your pool water. The solution is 100 percent harmless and invisible. The liquid cover creates a barrier on the surface even when the pool is in use. The solution also helps to conserve the heat, so you’ll potentially save on energy costs related to heating your pool.

Eco-Friendly Water Solutions for Your Home

energy efficient and eco friendlyWe take showers, and cook and relax by the pool without a second thought, but water remains a scarce resource in some places at home and many countries abroad. The world’s population grows by about 80 million people per year, according to UNwater.com, so water conservation efforts become more important as time goes on. Luckily, revolutionary innovations in water conservation and more broadly, energy efficiency, are changing the way we use the resources at our disposal. These products will help you use less water and lower your carbon footprint:

In The Bathroom

Toto Eco Drake: Most serious conservation efforts are the result of subtle changes that add up to big results. With its E-Max technology, the Toto Eco Drake toilet uses just 1.28 gallons of water per flush. Older toilets use more than 3.5 gallons per flush. Over the course of a year, owners can save hundreds of dollars on their water bills and conserve water in their regions. The Toto Eco Drake is ADA compliant, and received a CalGreen rating on its ecoScorecard.

Uji Shower Head: Many manufacturers have adopted low-flow technology that reduces the amount of water streaming out of a shower head, but a young startup is taking shower conservation to the next level. The Uji Shower Head starts out as a bright green color but turns red once it hits around seven minutes in. According to developers, this friendly visual reminder cuts shower time by 12 percent on average. The Uji Shower head is already saving colleges money by reducing water in the dorms, and it may be just the water saving cue your family needs.

In The Kitchen

LG TrueSteam: Dishwashers demand more water than any appliance in the house, so an energy-efficient machine can save you hundreds of gallons per year. The LG TrueSteam is 30 percent more efficient than standard Energy Star machines, according to LG’s website. TrueSteam’s Direct Drive motor offers high-efficiency performance to get your dishes cleaner with less water. Customize water pressure for each rack with LG’s dual-stream spray option. This highly rated machine will save you time, money and most importantly, water.

Grohe K7 Faucet: Anyone who cooks will appreciate the flexibility and performance of the Grohe K7 faucet. Eco-friendly owners will appreciate Grohe’s water conservation efforts. The K7 is an eco-friendly, Watersense-certified faucet with a locking dual spray control that switches back and forth between regular flow, and spray mode. With a flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute, the K7 is one of the most efficient high-end faucets on the market.

Around The House

Energy-efficient light bulbs remain one of the most popular ways to stay green around the house. The GE 13-Watt SmartTM bulb is one of the most popular, well-rated, and affordable bulbs on the market. If you’re looking for a more substantial eco-friendly investment, energy saving windows keep conditioned air from seeping out of the house and prevents the sun from warming up your home. Find more information on eco-friendly products at www.energysavings.com, which features products and prices that will help you further reduce your carbon footprint.