How-To: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

From efficient light bulbs to low flow shower heads, four simple steps to cutting your energy bill

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012  |  Updated 2:53 PM EDT
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How-To: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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Upgrading to energy-efficient CFL bulbs are one way to reduce your electric costs.

This article is sponsored by Michael and Son, the leading full-service plumbing, electrical, HVAC and remodeling company serving the Washington D.C. area for over 30 years. Learn more about Michael and Son at MichaelandSon.com.

 
It's easy to dismiss hot button issues like environmental protection as too big for one person to tackle, but--like any grass roots movement--going green starts at home. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to do your part, and you'll even reduce your energy bill in the process. 
 
Before refitting your home with eco friendly appliances, however, first schedule an energy audit with Michael & Son. They'll dispatch a technician to inspect your electric panel, HVAC system, appliances and home insulation. From there, it's easy to assess how much energy you are wasting and what steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Below are the most common recommendations. 
 
Replace your bulbs
Compact Florescent Light Bulbs, or CFLs, are far more energy efficient than the incandescent light bulbs found in most homes. To put things in perspective, if every North American household switched to CFLs, our country would save a staggering $600 million in energy bills. 
 
Install ceiling fans
Strategically installing ceiling fans throughout the house allows homeowners to rely less on A/C, decreasing your cooling bills and the strain put on your HVAC system. Plus fans are quiet and low-impact. 
 
Go low flow
Modern low flow toilets and shower heads allow users to save thousands of gallons of wasted water each year without skimping on the water pressure. 
 
Upgrade your appliances 
Dramatically reduce your electrical bill by upgrading to energy efficient appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators and dishwashers. 
 
Short of switching to solar or geo thermal energy (also an option), these four steps are simple and are sure to pay back in dividends, both in your bank account and environmentally. 

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