Grant Mechanical, Inc. Blog

What Does “Carbon Footprint” Mean & How Can You Impact Yours?

 

The term “carbon footprint” refers to the amount of greenhouse gases that are produced in order to support various human activities. The size of our footprint is often expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). When we participate in activities that emit greater amounts of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds, the larger our carbon footprint becomes.
Higher greenhouse emissions have been associated with the climate changes that have led to global warming. Rising temperatures and a variance in precipitation patterns has had a negative impact on the environment. Plants and vegetation struggle to grow, which in turn, threatens the food sources that wildlife and humans rely on to survive. As a result, there has been a societal push to begin decreasing our individual footprints.

We impact our carbon footprint in a number of ways. The most obvious example is displayed when we drive our car. The amount of gasoline or diesel that is consumed to transport us from point A to point B increases our carbon footprint. However, a significant amount of our carbon emissions happen right inside our home. More interesting is the fact that many of these high consumption habits actually cost us more money as well.

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Here are a few ways you can lessen the carbon footprint in your home (and save yourself some money too!):
1) Replace the lighting in your home with energy efficient light bulbs. These efficient light bulbs consume significantly less energy, which will save you money on your energy bill every year. Yes, these bulbs tend to be a bit more expensive upfront, but they generally have a much longer lifespan than traditional bulbs. Try replacing a few bulbs a month to start. You’ll save yourself a ton of money in the long run, and lessen your carbon emissions.
2) Monitor your water usage and be diligent in fixing all leaks. Simple habit changes can have a huge impact on your water consumption. This includes turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth, and limiting your laundry and dishwasher usage to only large loads. Also, be quick to fix any leaking fixtures to prevent any water from being wasted.
3) Heating and cooling your home is responsible for nearly half of your energy bill. Taking small steps to make the heating and cooling in your home can drastically lower your energy bill, and reduce your carbon footprint. Start by changing your air filters regularly. You should also ensure your programmable thermostats are operating properly to prevent your heating and cooling equipment from working overtime.
4) Ensuring your home is properly sealed and insulated will prevent unnecessary heating and cooling energy waste. You can reduce any air leaks in your home by using caulking, weather stripping and insulation. This will also make your home much more comfortable in extreme temperatures while also helping you reduce energy usage and save money on energy costs.
Making these changes in your home will not only impact the environment, it will also save you a ton of money on your energy bills. If you’d like to speak with a professional HVAC provider about more ways you can save, be sure to give us a call. We’d love to hear from you!

 

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