(BPT) - Today's consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever before. They understand that making eco-friendly choices not only creates a positive impact on your surroundings, it can also translate into actual savings on monthly energy bills.
If you're looking to reduce your carbon footprint and make your home part of the 'green' initiative, Christine Ackerson, head of sustainability at LG Electronics USA, offers the following tips to help you protect both the environment and your bottom line.
* Get the most out of your refrigerator. Most consumers focus on keeping the inside of their refrigerators clean, but keeping the outside clean is just as important. Dusty coils actually can impact the refrigerator's overall efficiency, because when dirty, they trap heat and prevent the refrigerator from cooling efficiently. The grills and coils should be cleaned once or twice a year and more often if you have pets. Use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment to clean the condenser cover and vents of your refrigerator. You can also use a soft bristled brush to access some of the hard-to-reach areas.
Also, older refrigerator models can use a lot of energy. Consider upgrading to an ENERGY STAR(R) qualified refrigerator, which is 20 percent more energy efficient than the federal minimum energy standard. You can also look for refrigerators with energy-saving technologies like a linear compressor. New refrigerator features like LG's Door-in-Door can actually reduce cold air loss by up to 47 percent. The convenient door-within-a-door compartment on the fridge door allows quick, easy access to commonly used snacks and beverages without requiring you to open the entire refrigerator door.
* Insulate your home. Heating and cooling your home is one of your biggest energy costs, and if your home isn't properly insulated, you're losing money. Start by closing your windows and sealing any drafty areas you find. Hire a professional to insulate drafty areas of your home if you don't feel you can handle them on your own.
* Turn it off. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips. Turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use as equipment still uses several watts of power when they are in standby mode. And be sure to unplug your cellphone charger when your device is fully charged.
* Cold is the new hot. A quick tip when it comes to laundry is washing clothes with cold water whenever possible. Look for washers equipped with 'cold wash' technology, which achieves cold water savings with warm water washing performance. Another way to save water is to try to wash full loads, or if you must wash a partial load, reduce the level of water appropriately to avoid usage of extra water.
* Do your research. Finding home appliances and electronics that are energy efficient is not difficult. Look for the ENERGY STAR 'Most Efficient' designation when shopping for your next appliance, like LG's mega-capacity washer that allows you to wash more clothes with fewer loads. This distinction recognizes the most energy efficient products among those that already are ENERGY STAR qualified. Or look for an ENERGY STAR refrigerator that's earned the Green Good Housekeeping Seal, an emblem given by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute in recognition of brand's demonstration of environmental responsibility.