Well Good Morning Mother Nature!
It’s late December and the clock is ticking away the last of 2010. Fortunately, you only need a few minutes to make 2011 easier – on your health, your home and your bank account.
In just 11 minutes, you can:
1. Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable to save energy. Every degree you raise the thermostat setting in winter can increase your heating bill three percent. So slip on a sweater and socks and set the indoor temperature two or three degrees lower.
2. Mark your calendar to change your HVAC filter regularly. Dirty filters cause your furnaceto work harder, and can be harder on your allergies, too. Changing your filter once a month – at least during summer and winter, once every three months during the shoulder seasons – is better for your health and your HVAC system.
3. Install rubber gaskets behind switch plates on exterior walls. Available from home-improvement stores, the gaskets help stop cold air from entering through electrical outlets.
4. Change a light bulb. Better yet, change out five standard incandescent bulbs for CFLs in your most frequently used fixtures. If every home did this, it would prevent the production of one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases.
5. Close the doors on your fireplace when it’s not in use. Fireplaces look and feel cozy, but they are essentially an open door to the elements.
6. Check your home’s air filtration systems. Unless you own an ozone-free filtration system, it may be doing your home more harm than good.
7. Take just a moment to slip off your shoes as soon as you walk in the front door to helpreduce dust and other contaminants swirling in your home. Setting out a basket with house slippers near the door encourages family and guests to do the same.
8. Replace kitchen sponges weekly. Used sponges provide the moist environment bacteria need to breed. As an alternative soak sponges in bleach 15 minutes to help kill the 100,000 bacteria inhabiting every square inch.
9. Unplug battery chargers or power adapters when they’re not in use, and use a power strip as a single disconnect point. Electronics still draw a small amount of electricity even when they’re turned off, and a power strip allows you to completely disconnect the power supply when units aren’t in use.
10. Walk around your home to be sure furniture and draperies aren’t blocking air registers. No matter how effective your heating and cooling systems are, they can’t keep you comfortable if the warmed or cooled air is blocked by sofas or curtains.
11. Schedule annual maintenance on your HVAC equipment to avoid wasting energy. Locate a technician near your home by downloading the Lennox app for your iPhone™ or Android mobile device or by using the Lennox locator online.