By Shelley Swenson
Extension Agent III
Wakulla County FCS
Ready to make a few enhancements to your home to improve its overall performance?
Improving the home performance through small increments or changes requires extended periods of time before the benefits are truly noticeable but small steps of change are worth it in the long run.
My philosophy is that I am going to do several of these things because they are the right thing to do.
If families focus on several factors, there exists the real possibility of creating financial savings for the family.
Here is a list of small improvements that can be done.
• Unplug electronics when not in use.
• Turn off fans when people are not using the room. Fans only cool skin temperature and do nothing to reduce the temperature of a room.
• Keep interior doors to unoccupied rooms open. They help to maintaining balanced air pressure in the house.
• Turn off the water during activities such as shaving and brushing your teeth. You would be amazed at how much water can be saved.
• Wash clothes at the coolest tolerable water temperature possible to conserve hot water.
• Avoid pre-rinsing dishes whenever possible. Scrape them with a sponge instead to conserve water.
• Air dry dishes whenever possible to conserve electricity.
• Reduce the thermostat setting on the hot-water heater to conserve electricity.
• Make sure the clothes dryer vent is clear of any debris. Blockages lead to longer drying times and eventual failure of the dryer’s heating element. Blockages can also cause dryer fires.
• Wrap insulation around the hot-water heater tank. This reduces heat loss into the atmosphere.
• Insulate behind electrical outlet boxes and cap off ones not being used. This reduces air leakage.
• Install a clean air-conditioning filter. Dirty filters require more suction and can cause strain on the compressor.
Minor conservation measures in the home will not necessarily result in instant improvement in overall savings and health.
The point is not to seek instant results but rather to establish lifestyle practices that naturally gravitate toward conservation and optimizing resources.