February 10th, 2009
Limit your flying distance. Try to reduce the number of plane trips you take and try not to use a plane for any trips under 1000km. Plane trips are way more environmentally destructive than automobile trips.
August 30th, 2008
Some of the best ways to save money and go green are surprisingly easy, and this is a great example. For anyone who works in a location away from home during the day, setting the thermostat to a higher temperature during those hours can save money in cooling costs. But, how much can you expect to save and what temperature differences make sense?
Taking the time to program your thermostat can net up to $180 per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With heating and cooling costing an average household about $900 per year, that’s sizeable cut!
Keep in mind though, that if the temperature in your home fluctuates too much, it will cause the air conditioning to run a long time to catch back up. The key is incremental adjustments. The EPA recommends “raising your home’s usual temperature setting by 7 degrees when you’re away and 4 degrees when you’re asleep”.
When you plan to be away from home for a while, turn the air conditioner off by using the hold feature on your thermostat.
And just like cars that require regular maintenance, heating and cooling systems can benefit from the same sort of attention. Checking for air leaks replacing air filters regularly are just a few examples.
Energy Star has produced a video podcast that gives a good overview of how to purchase a good programmable thermostat.
This sort of planning becomes especially important as fuel sources like propane and electricity continue to increase their prices. It’s possible to save money using a manual thermostat as well, but requires more active participation from the household.