Do you have any plans to do something great for the environment this Earth Day? Start change at home by boosting your household energy efficiency -- a move that not only reduces your contribution to destructive greenhouse gases, but can also reduce your monthly utility bills. This year, take a little time to think about your home and habits and seize the opportunity to save energy without changing your lifestyle.

To help you get started, here are a few energy-saving ideas:

  • Use disaggregation -- breaking down your energy use by appliance and device -- to identify the areas of your home with the greatest energy efficiency potential. Smart technology makes disaggregation easy and accurate, and these devices may pay for themselves in reduced utility costs.
  • Some electronics, like TVs, video game consoles and cable set-top boxes, have settings that keep them on even when in standby mode so they activate faster. These settings are often turned on by default, and they can add up to a huge energy waste over time. Find these devices and turn the always-on setting off!
  • Is it time to upgrade one or more of your major appliances? If so, be sure to choose an energy-efficient model by consulting the EPA’s ENERGY STAR list. These appliances include the models that far exceed federal energy efficiency minimums.
  • Even if you’re not ready to upgrade your appliances, you can give them an efficiency boost by cleaning them up. Dust, dirt, lint, pet hair and other particles can clog vents and coils, especially on appliances like dryers and refrigerators. This buildup can cause overheating and force appliances to work harder than usual, putting an unnecessary load on your energy use.
  • Are you still using incandescent light bulbs throughout your home? For an easy Earth Day upgrade, switch to CFL light bulbs, or better yet, LED bulbs. LEDs can last for more than 20 years, can save up to 80% on home energy costs and stay cool to the touch.
  • Warm weather is coming, so this is the perfect time to give your air conditioner a little TLC. A tune-up, inspection and filter swap can go a long way toward reducing your energy use as the summer heat rolls in.
  • Think solar panels are too expensive? You might be surprised -- subsidies, discounts and leasing programs vary by market but are available all over the country. Take some time this Earth Day to look into your options and find out if solar is right for your household.

If you’re thinking about making some changes to the way you use energy in your home this Earth Day, don’t hesitate to call the professional electricians at your local Mister Sparky for expert help.

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