5 Tips for Energy Conservation in Dallas-Fort Worth

In Dallas-Fort Worth, energy conservation is a daily concern. Whether it’s water conservation, energy efficiency, or simply a desire to live in a more environmentally friendly way, there are many options available.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, energy conservation is a daily concern. Whether it’s energy efficiency or simply a desire to live in a more environmentally friendly way, there are many options available. Here are five ways every homeowner can conserve energy.

1. Start Small

Energy conservation doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Many little changes can add up to big energy savings.

  • Change all of your incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). They’re up to 70 percent more energy efficient, and these bulbs last for years.
  • Turn off lights and electronics when not in the room.
  • Replace your air conditioning filter regularly — a dirty filter makes your air conditioner work harder. Set a calendar reminder in your smartphone to help make sure you change it consistently.
  • When brushing your teeth, turn off the faucet. When taking a shower, try to limit it to 10 minutes to conserve both water and electricity.
  • Replace older, conventional power strips with Advanced Power Strips (APS) for your entertainment center, home computers, and other electronic devices. This will also help reduce the lingering energy draw from dormant electronics without having to change your habits.

2. Upgrade to Energy Efficient Appliances

Upgrading your home’s electronics can lead to big energy conservation savings long term. Here are some ways to save.

  • Replace your refrigerator if it was manufactured more than five years ago and doesn’t have an Energy Star rating. Energystar.gov reports an estimated 60 million refrigerators in use today are over 10 years old, costing homeowners $4.4 billion annually.
  • Try to keep your refrigerator away from heat sources such as your stove, dishwasher, and microwave.
  • If your dishwasher was manufactured before 1994, it’s time to upgrade. These older models waste 10 gallons of water each cycle.
  • Washers and dryers manufactured before 1998 are also due for replacement. Current models use 65 percent less water.

3. Update Bathrooms and Kitchens

When considering replacing bathroom and kitchen faucets, look for the new WaterSense label. Consider these areas to update throughout your home.

  • Toilets older than 1992 should be replaced with low-flow toilets. These water-conservative toilets can save a family of four over 11,000 gallons of water a year.
  • Install low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads. Faucet flow standards are now 1.5 gallons per minute. The EPA estimates that a WaterSense showerhead could save a household as much as 2,900 gallons of water a year.
  • Repair all leaks immediately. A leaky toilet will use up to 200 gallons of water per day. A leaking faucet can leak 3,000 gallons a year.

4. Outdoor Savings

Your home’s yard can be a source of energy savings, too. Use these strategies to conserve and reduce.

  • Avoid using your sprinkler at any time other than in the early morning (predawn) when it’s coolest. Don’t overwater or use foliage that’s not native to Dallas-Fort Worth.
  • Check your lawnmower blade: Make sure it’s at least three inches high to promote a healthy lawn with a good root system.
  • Create a compost pile for your garden instead of using a garbage disposal. It’s good not only for your foliage but also for your home’s energy.
  • Avoid using too much fertilizer, as this will increase your lawn’s need for water.

5. Renewable Energy

Install solar panels to take advantage of the wonderful sunshine Dallas-Fort Worth experiences 60 percent of the year. Check with your utility provider to see what incentives they provide. Oncor provides program details for homeowners. You may even be able to sell excess energy to the utility.