At DGC, our homes are built to maximize energy efficiency and reduce our environmental impact. Whether we are working toward building more efficient homes or refining our building processes for future generations you can count on DGC. But saving our planet does not stop there. Success requires a team effort. As a homeowner you can help us achieve our goal.
We have included a few ideas to help you get started. Where you begin is up to you. The important thing is to start today. Together we can make a difference.
• Replace incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). CFLs use 75% less energy and last 8 to 10 times longerthan incandescent lights making them worth the extra up-front cost. BUT, use CFLs appropriately - place them in fixtures that remain on for at least 3 hours daily. Special CFLs are required to operate with dimmers or 3-way switches.
• Turn off lights! Incandescent lights should always be turned off when not in use. Fluorescent lights work optimally when they are not turned off repeatedly, so only turn off when you plan to be away for 30 minutes or more. When day lighting is adequate. Leave minimal lighting on during non-business hours or when you are away from your home as necessary for safety; otherwise, shut off all lighting.
• Use the right amount of light: Consider three-way lamps and dimming switches. This will make it easier to keep lighting levels low when brighter lights are not necessary. Use one large wattage lamp rather than two small ones. Example: use one 100 watt rather than two 60 watts light bulbs. Use task lighting (table and desktop lamps) instead of room lighting.
• Keep light fixtures, shades and bulbs clean!
Air Conditioning Tips:
• Consider using or portable fans to circulate and cool the air.
• Open windows and shades during the evening when it's cooler. Use blinds, shades, and awnings to keep the heat out.
• Turn off lights, TVs and computers when they are not being used. They make air conditioning work harder!
• Do not place lamps or TV sets near your air conditioning thermostat.
• Close off unoccupied rooms and shut their air conditioning vents.
• Clean or replace air conditioner filters regularly.
• Use microwaves to defrost, cook, and re-heat food instead of an oven.
• Don't block microwave vents.
• Turn off coffee machines when not in use and use small appliances for small tasks, such as a toaster instead of an oven.
• Make sure the seals in the oven fit properly.
• Keep lids on pots when cooking. While baking, do not open the oven; consider using the light instead.
• Keep microwaves and ovens clean and well maintained to work most efficiently.
• Only run dishwashers when they are full and use the economy cycle for everyday washing.
• Instead of using the drying cycle, stop the dishwasher, open the door and let dishes dry naturally. It takes more energy to dry dishes than to wash them.
• Use cold water to rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
• Wash dishes in the sink where possible.
• Use a clothesline instead of a dryer when possible.
• Only run the clothes washer and dryer when fully loaded.
• When possible, use cold water to wash clothes.
• Clean the clothes dryer filter after each load.
• Spin clothes thoroughly before drying.
• Do not over-dry clothes; use minimum amount of time necessary to dry them.
• Dry lighter items together and heavy items together.
• Consider purchasing ENERGY STAR® washing machines.
• Turn down the thermostat. Wear warm clothing and set the thermostat to 68° or lower during the day and evening, health permitting.
• Put extra blankets on the bed.
• Roll up towels and put them at the bottom of doors to stop drafts.
• On sunny days, keep the shades, blinds and drapes open. At night, close curtains, draperies and blinds to keep the heat in.
• Close closet doors and doors to unused rooms.
• Switch off heating when you are away.
• Keep heating registers and air vents clear of obstacles.
Tips on Saving Water in the Bathroom:
• Install an ultra low-flow toilet. These use 1.28 gallons of water per flush vs. 3.5 gallons or more.
• Install low-flow aerators and showerheads.
• Repair all water leaks.
• Take short showers instead of baths.
• Collect water with a bucket while waiting for the shower water to heat up and use it later for other purposes.
• Do not leave water running when shaving or brushing your teeth.
Tips on Saving Water in the Kitchen and Laundry:
• Repair plumbing leaks and fix dripping faucets.
• Install low-flow aerator on all faucets.
• Do not leave water running when rinsing dishes.
• Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods.