Celebrate Energy Awareness Month this October

Save EnergyWhen we think of the month of October, we think of vibrant fall foliage, football games, and of course, the exciting event that is Halloween. But there's another event that happens in October that many of us don't even know about, despite the fact that it involves one of our most important and valuable resources — energy. To promote conservation of this critical resource, October has been dubbed Energy Awareness Month.

This annual event, instituted in 1991 by then President George Bush, is designed to prompt government organizations, businesses, and of course, individuals and families to take proactive steps to preserve energy.

Join the energy awareness celebration.

It doesn't take a lot to do your part to help conserve energy. Here are some simple steps you can take in your home that will not only make a difference in your energy costs, but also make a difference in the future of our planet.

Energy costs:

  • Start by reviewing your utility bills. This will give you a baseline of how much you are spending on energy. After you implement energy conservation steps, compare your bills to see how much you saved.

Electrical costs:

  • Turn off lights in empty rooms or consider putting some, such as outside lights, on timers.
  • If you're not using your computer monitor for more than 20 minutes, turn it off. And shut down your CPU if you won't be using it for two hours or more.
  • Replace light bulbs with energy efficient ones.
  • Unplug unused appliances. For example, if you're not charging your cellphone, unplug the charger from the outlet.

Heating and cooling:

  • Schedule regular, routine maintenance on your furnace to ensure it's operating efficiently.
  • Clean or replace filters in your furnaces and air conditioners to keep heating and cooling systems running smoothly.
  • Caulk or replace leaky windows.
  • Install a programmable ENERGY STAR® thermostat to regulate the temperature to your schedule.
  • Consider installing ceiling fans, which can increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.
  • Remove curtains, furniture, and other obstructions from heating vents.
  • Wrap your water heater in a specialized water heater blanket to retain heat. You may also want to consider lowering the temperature of your water heater.

Appliances:

  • Replace older appliances with newer, more energy-efficient ones. Look for the ENERGY STAR® logo.
  • Always do full loads of laundry in your washing machine and full loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
  • Skip the "drying cycle" with your dishwasher and let dishes drip dry.
  • Empty the lint trap in your dryer after each load.
  • Prepare food with smaller appliances rather than larger ones. For example, use your toaster oven, microwave, or crockpot instead of your oven.

Make room for energy improvements.

To learn more about ways you can further improve your home's efficiency and help conserve energy for our planet, schedule a free energy audit with your energy company.

So what are you waiting for? Start celebrating Energy Awareness Month today.