The earlier you teach your children about energy efficiency, the more ingrained it will be in their lifestyles. Teaching your children best practices in conserving energy now will ensure they grow up to be responsible adults who care about the environment and their role in protecting it for future generations.
Replace Incandescent Light Bulbs
Teach your children how energy-efficient lighting saves energy. Make a game out of having them find all the incandescent bulbs throughout your home so that you or another adult can replace them.
Turn Off the Lights
A simple yet effective energy-saving method you can teach your children is to turn off the lights when they are not needed. Explain to your children the benefits of taking advantage of natural lighting during the day to illuminate a room. Some interior rooms do not receive much natural light during the day. For these rooms, and for general usage at night, lights that are not being used, especially for extended periods, should be turned off.
Unplug Electronic Devices
Children today spend a lot of time with various types of electronic devices. Whether it’s spending hours glued to the television set, browsing the Internet, or playing video games, children need to understand how much these electronics consume energy. In addition, a lot of devices such as music players and smartphones need to be charged regularly. Devices left plugged in use standby power, which still impacts energy consumption. Teach children to conserve energy by unplugging devices when they are not being used. It is also a good opportunity to remind your children to spend less time with devices and more time pursuing physical activity for better health.
Keep Doors and Windows Closed
When your HVAC system is being used, you need to keep a tight seal in your home. You can demonstrate this concept to your children using a resealable plastic bag. Have your child blow air into the bag as if he or she is the HVAC supplying air to your home. By sealing the bag, you are closing the front door to the house. Let your child open the “door” by opening the bag to release the air. Explain that valuable conditioned air will escape from the house in the same way when windows or exterior doors are left open, forcing the air conditioner to run longer requiring more electricity. As children sometimes are in and out frequently during play time, it is very important that they take responsibility for keeping doors closed. Also point out that unwanted hot or cold air, as well as pollutants, can enter the home in this way as well.
Look for Air Leaks
Searching for air leaks is a great way to teach your children about energy efficiency issues. Building off the concept of keeping the doors and windows closed, explain to your children how air can escape your home through cracks and gaps that form over time in your home’s structure. Then, take them on a mission to find real leaks. They will be able to do this by feeling for drafts, or by using paper, strips of cloth or similar items to detect air movement.
Your children can help you to check all adjoining areas, such as the edges around window and door frames, and around fireplaces and chimneys. Look for cracks, gaps, or deteriorating caulk or weather-stripping that will need to be replaced.
Close all windows and doors and turn off the HVAC system and ceiling fans. Vents, the clothes dryer or a window fan can be used to pull air out of the home. Light an incense stick and hold it near various locations that you suspect might be sources of drafts or leaks. Air leaks will result in the incense smoke being pulled outside. Alternatively air seeping in will push the smoke inward. This test works better on windy days. Explain how this forces the HVAC to work harder and cause it to use more energy.
Including children in energy conservation activities, will instill a sense of responsibility and ownership as they start to take active roles in saving your family money and helping to improve energy efficiency. Over time, these activities will become second nature. Children should only be given simple tasks. No task should require them to enter areas that are not safe, use dangerous equipment, or undertake potentially harmful activity. Ensure that they do not go above and beyond in their enthusiasm, and only conduct activities approved by an adult.
For more ways you can save energy in your home, contact the experts at Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Call us today, at 847-272-5836 for more information about our services, or repair and preventive maintenance solutions.
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