A recent study from the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University found that when most people think about ways to save energy, they think about simple steps like turning lights off when they leave a room or driving less, rather than making larger improvements, such as buying more energy-efficient appliances or adding insulation to walls and windows, which energy-efficiency experts believe are more effective in reducing energy consumption.
But both help, says James Brew, principal architect at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit think tank that advocates for more efficient use of natural resources. "I like to think about active people, passive houses," he says. "If you actively engage in the energy operation of your house, you're going to save money, and you learn more about your house's energy balance." So while experts may think a new water heater or investing thousands in new windows is the best way to go, you're not in the wrong if your idea of energy efficiency is line-drying clothes or shutting drapes on a hot day.
With cold temperatures quickly approaching, Brew offers up these three tips for saving energy this fall.
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