Our nation’s capital is a very green city. Many D.C. area residents are extremely environmentally conscious and their lifestyles reflect it. This mindset affects all areas of life here in D.C.: shopping, dining, transportation, even the daily aspects of home life. Regarding the latter, if you are a homeowner here in Washington, chances are you are looking for new and creative ways to cut down on energy use. Doing so is not only helpful for the environment, it is helpful for your utility bill as well! Given the skyrocketing prices of energy here in D.C., energy saved is money earned! This article will highlight some ways that you can do your part for the environment, while saving some serious cash.
Cut Down On Water Use
This is one of the easiest lifestyle changes you can make. There are simple steps that you can take to greatly reduce the amount of water used in your home. For one, try not to leave the water running when it is not being used. This might seem like a simple step, but it is one that many people sadly neglect. How many times do we leave the water running while brushing our teeth, for example? All of that water just goes straight down the drain! Another, slightly more radical, step is to turn the shower off during the actual lathering and washing process. This is known as a “navy” or “combat” shower, due to its use in the military. And try not to shower for too long. It may be comforting to stand in the hot water, but this leads to gallons and gallons of waste! Speaking of hot water, make sure that your water heater is as efficient as possible. Any leaks or malfunctions can lead to huge water waste. If you have this problem, there are many D.C. water heater repair companies who are able to fix it, and get you back to optimal efficiency.
Cut Down On Electric Use
As with water, this is another simple lifestyle change. It could involve something as cheap and simple as changing your current lightbulbs for more energy-efficient bulbs. Speaking of lights, always turn them off when they are not needed. This is another simple, obvious energy-saving step that many people forget about. Also, while summers can be very hot and humid here in D.C., avoid using your air-conditioner as much as possible—it is a huge energy guzzler! Try opening windows and using fans to get air flowing throughout your house, using the air-conditioner only at times when it is unbearably hot.
Outfit Your House For Maximum Energy Efficiency
There are energy-saving changes that you can make to the physical structure of your house itself. And no, this doesn’t have to involve solar panels (though they are a great idea). Installing more energy-efficient windows that reduce air leakage can greatly cut down on energy use over the course of a year. Speaking of air leakage, make sure your home is properly insulated, and that there are no cracks or leaks in the walls or roof of your house. Finally, installing a fireplace can greatly cut down on heater use, and save you energy during those chilly D.C. winters!