With prices on the rise and global concerns worsening daily, it is easy to feel bogged down with the pressure to make drastic changes to save the environment. But let’s face it, not everyone has the time to combat pollution, to save the rainforest, or to protest rising gas costs. So what can you do? We’ve put together five simple ways that you can make your home more energy efficient. Not only will you be helping save our resources, but you’ll be helping yourself save money on electricity bills, not to mention the good feeling you’ll gain knowing that you’ve done your part.

Replace standard light bulbs with Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent bulbs: These lights use about 75% less energy than your standard incandescent light bulb, and can last up to 10 times longer. Fluorescent bulbs produce about 75% less heat than a regular light bulb, making them safer to use and more efficient during warmer months to lower cooling costs. Installing fluorescent bulbs can also save you $30 in electricity costs. If every American were to replace one incandescent bulb with one fluorescent one, we would save enough energy to light 300 million homes for a year, and would save over $600 million on energy costs. Want to learn more? Check out Energy Star’s website at www.energystar.gov.

Program your thermostat to a lower temperature when you are not at home: Most homes today have a programmable thermostat to regulate heating and cooling systems, and you can use this to your advantage to save energy. By setting the thermostat to a lower temperature-no higher than 72 degrees –at times when nobody is home, such as during the middle of the day, or at low activity times, such as over night. This will lower your home’s energy consumption, as well as save you up to $150 a year in energy costs.

Unplug your TV: Small equipment in your home, such as televisions, DVD players or VCRs can take up a tremendous amount of energy, even when not in use. Because most of these types of appliances utilize standby lights when they are turned off, the unit is actually using almost as much energy as when you are watching your favorite show. Solution? Unplug it! If you don’t want the hassle of plugging things in and out constantly, invest in a power strip that has an on off switch so you can unplug them all with the flip of a switch.

Replace your old appliances: Large appliances in your home may be costing you more than you think. Refrigerators built before 1993 could be costing you over $140 in electricity costs, and those built before 2001 could cost up to $60 a year to run. Older model top loading washing machines use 50% more energy than newer front load models and use almost 1/3 more water. Replacing large appliances such as these can drastically cut back your energy use and spending, as well as increase the longevity of your home. These appliances generally pay for themselves within 5 years, and can last for decades.

Utilize power saving settings on your computer: In our increasingly technological world, it is not uncommon for homes to have one or more computers running at any given time. While these advances in technology make our lives a little easier, they don’t help our growing energy consumption problem. Most computers today come equipped with some type of power management setting, such as hibernate and sleep mode. Use these settings! Simply setting your computer to hibernate after a period of inactivity uses up to 80% less energy, and can save you up to $75 a year in energy costs. To save even more, set your monitor to turn off after a set period of inactivity as well. While these are not as effective as turning the computer off entirely, it reduces energy consumption by a significant amount, while still keeping your computer easily accessible whenever needed.

Whichever ways you choose to utilize lower energy consumption, the important thing is to stick with it and to spread the word. To learn more about the ways that we protect our resources here at Old Creek, visit our website at www.wallbedfactory.com.