Heating and cooling is where the bulk of most household's energy budget goes, so the basement is the location of your home's biggest carbon footprint. The clothes dryer and the hot water heater, often in people's basements, are typically among the biggest energy consuming appliances.
Low effort: Clean out the vent on your clothes dryer with a brush. Insulate hot water pipes and put an insulating blanket around your hot water heater. Set the hot water heater to 120 degrees and, if it's electric, put it on a timer
Medium: If you have central air, have it maintained (filters cleaned, etc.) so it will run more efficiently. Use fans (although only when people are in the room) and ventilation, such as opening windows during the cool times of the day. Also in the low-tech department is hanging your clothes to dry.
High: You can supplement or replace your heating or cooling with a range of more efficient products, such as efficient space heaters or evaporative coolers in certain climates. The DOE again offers a good explanation of your options. Heat pumps, such as ground-source heat pumps or geothermal systems, seem to catch on a bit more every year as a very efficient way to heat and cool buildings.
September 29, 2009 6:49 AM PDT
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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