You resolved to save energy this year, but after reviewing your long list of to-dos, you started to have second thoughts. Break down your list to a more manageable size and tackle one energy-saving project per month. Follow our lead with these simple ideas to save all year long!
Keep all south-facing glass clean to take maximum advantage of passive solar energy. Check out these store-bought, green glass cleaners: Simple Green, Clorox® Green Works or GreenShield Organic. You can also make your own glass cleaner with one of the recipes from this site.
Landscape to take advantage of shade trees, trellis vines or shrubs in summer. Get helpful hints from these great resources: Virginia Cooperative Extension, Arbor Day Foundation, Landscape for Life and Colorado State University.
Use an interior fan along with AC to keep occupied rooms more comfortable without cranking the air conditioner. See which fans made the list of Energy Star's most efficient fans: Kichler Lighting, TroposAir, Harbor Breeze, Fanimation, Minka Group, Monte Carlo and Aeratron.
Keep drapes closed to avoid unnecessarily heating your house. Light-blocking curtains are available at most housewares retailers (everywhere from Walmart and Ikea to Pottery Barn and West Elm) so take your pick!
Now is a great time to start composting your food scraps in preparation for your spring garden. Get tips on what to compost and how to make your own bin, or buy one from one of these manufacturers: Suncast tumbler or Good Ideas Compost Wizard.
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/glennebo
Use a water-heater blanket to insulate your water tank and set the temp to 120°F. Check out blankets from Frost King and Duck. Energy.gov also has step by step instructions on how to install your new water-heater blanket.