Green Living

Home Energy Makeover

Reducing your energy bills doesn’t have to involve major home renovations. Save hundreds on your utility bills with a few household tweaks.
Home Energy Makeover
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The average American uses 70 gallons of water each day. We can comfortably cut that in half, says Chris Brown, executive director of the California Urban Water Conservation Council. Here are his top water-saving tips:

1. CHOOSE A FRONT-LOADING WASHING MACHINE. Look for an Energy Star-rated front-loading model: It requires about half as much water as a top-loading machine (which uses up to 50 gallons a load) and will lower your electricity bill. Water saved: 20 to 25 gallons per load. And couple your washer with a dryer that has a moisture sensor, which shuts off the machine as soon as clothes are dry. Better yet, skip the dryer altogether and use a drying rack or air–dry outside.

2. INSTALL FAUCET AERATORS. Outfit your sinks with aerators (available at hardware stores) and you’ll use less water. Water saved: 60 percent of your water usage.

3. USE A LOW-FLOW SHOWERHEAD. The latest low-flow models provide plenty of water pressure. Water saved: Thousands of gallons a year.

4. CHECK FOR TOILET LEAKS. Ask your utility company for free dye tablets to drop in the tank. If dye appears in the bowl, call the plumber. If you need to replace the toilet, opt for a water-efficient model that uses less than 1.28 gallons per flush. Water saved: More than 2,000 gallons of water annually (the amount a leaky toilet wastes).