October is Energy Action Month and presents a great opportunity to fine tune your energy-saving strategies at home, at work and on the go.
On Wednesday, October 2, Fairfax County will recognize Energy Efficiency Day, a national awareness event promoting the many benefits of energy efficient technology and behavior. At its core, energy efficiency is about making smart choices that save money and conserve resources.
This October, join your neighbors and take one step toward a more energy efficient future. Here are this year’s top tips for energy efficiency from the Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination:
- Small Change, Big Impact: Look around your home or office and choose five or more incandescent or fluorescent lights to replace with LED bulbs. These bulbs consume up to 90 percent less electricity than typical incandescent bulbs and can last 25 times as long. By replacing five bulbs you use frequently, you can cut $75 or more from your annual energy bill.
- Let the Sun Shine, Or Don’t: Depending on the season, actively adjusting your blinds and shades to let natural light in or to block it can have a real impact on your heating and cooling bills. In the winter, let the light in from your west-and south-facing windows to save between 2 and 12 percent on your heating bill. In the summer, pull the shades during the hottest part of the day to prevent intense sunlight from unnecessarily warming your space.
- Wash Like a Pro: Up to 90 percent of your washing machine’s energy is used to heat water when you wash your clothes on warm or hot. Choose to wash using cold water and run full loads whenever possible, as your machine uses the same amount of energy whether its full or not.
- Shop Smart: Are you in the market for a new appliance? Making renovations to your home or business? Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when shopping for windows, HVAC equipment, washers, dryers, ovens, TVs and more. If you are replacing older appliances or electronics, consider donating or recycling your items through a local program like the one run by Dominion Energy, rather than sending them straight to the landfill.
- Look for the Leaks: Heating and cooling your home or office building can account for up to half of your annual electricity bill. Become a detective and discover air leaks hiding in plain sight. Borrow a thermal imaging camera from any branch of the Fairfax County Public Library and identify opportunities for weather stripping, insulation or other efficiency measures.
Boost your energy awareness by visiting the Energy Action Fairfax website, and sign up for the quarterly newsletter to receive regular updates on energy smart projects and initiatives taking place near you.