Earth Gauge: Fall and winter energy savings

3:43 PM, Oct 15, 2012   |    comments
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When it comes to protecting water quality, most people don't think about reducing energy use.

But, energy used during the fall and winter for heating homes and businesses comes from power plants that emit nitrous oxides into the atmosphere.

Nitrous oxides can contribute to nutrient pollution problems in local waterways when nitrogen falls back to earth with rain and snow.

Viewer Tip: According to the Department of Energy, about 45 percent of home energy use is for space heating. Save money and energy this winter with these simple and inexpensive tips:

  • Replace your furnace filter about once a month, or as needed.
  • Schedule a maintenance check-up for your heating system.
  • Turn down the thermostat. When you go to sleep or if you are away from home, dial down the thermostat 10 to 15 degrees. Doing this for eight hours will save 10 percent per year on heating bills.

(Sources: EPA, "Nutrient Pollution,"; Department of Energy, "Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips,"


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