Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More from National Geographic

Incandescent bulbs vs. Compact fluorescent bulbs: Fluorescent bulbs will save you between 50 and 75 percent in annual lighting costs over incandescent bulbs. Even though these bulbs are initially more expensive, they give off less heat and last up to ten times longer than incandescent ones. If you do have incandescent bulbs, think about installing a dimmer switch and reducing your bulbs' brightness by half. This will make them last longer.

Laptop computer vs. Desktop computer: A laptop will give you annual computer-related energy savings of as much as 50 percent over a desktop. For additional savings, enable the sleep mode on your laptop after five minutes of inactivity. If you have a desktop computer with an old-cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor, consider replacing it with a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. A 14-inch (35-centimeter) LCD monitor uses up to 75 percent less energy than a 14-inch CRT monitor.

Single-pane window vs. Double-pane window: Depending on your climate, you can reduce your utility bill by as much as 10 percent with double-pane windows. To save even more, look for windows with the Energy Star label. They meet strict energy-efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. government and can save up to 15 percent in any climate. However, if your home already has single-pane windows and you live in a cold climate, consider storm windows. They're almost as efficient as double-pane windows and cheaper. Other affordable options include caulking and weather stripping.


Top-load washer vs. Front-load washer: A front-load washer will cut your water and washer-related energy use by more than half over a top-load washer. You only need about 10 to 20 gallons (40 to 80 liters) of water to do a full load, while a top-load washer would have required about 40 gallons (150 liters). If you want to increase your savings even more, wash only with cold water the next time you empty your hamper.

Tankless water heater (heats water instantly) vs. Storage tank water heater (conventional water heater): Tankless water heaters are about 10 to 30 percent more energy efficient than storage tanks, which constantly have to keep water warm and are common in most U.S. homes. Popular in Japan and Europe, tankless models heat water only as needed in the pipe. If you're not in the market for a new water heater anytime soon, insulate your water pipes to reduce heat loss. From the tank, insulate at least the first six feet (two meters) of pipe.

Electric dryer vs. Gas dryer: A gas dryer will save you about 50 percent in annual dryer energy costs over an electric model. And if you use the moisture sensor, a feature on newer electric and gas models that automatically shuts off the dryer when clothes are dry, you'll trim another 15 percent. But keep one thing in mind: Hanging your clothes out to dry expends only your own energy.

Gene Dempsey, City Forester
Environmental Services
Office - (954) 828-7704 Fax - (954) 828-7897

Think before you print!