As people get older, smart energy use becomes more important. Take a look at some suggestions below from the NC Cooperative Extension’s Home Energy Management Program to help seniors with energy savings while maintaining their safety and comfort.
- Ensure Sufficient Lighting: As we age, we need greater amounts of light. If you or someone you know has fading eyesight, decreased alertness, or uncertain balance, you may need to increase overall light levels in the home and in areas where tasks are performed. To keep the same reading speed you had at 20, you need 50 percent more light than when you are 50, twice as much light when you are 60, and three times the amount of light when you are 80! To help increase light output (lumens) without increasing energy use (watts), consider energy efficient light bulbs. Replacing incandescent bulbs with lower wattage but higher lumen CFL or LED lights can help conserve energy without compromising the quality of light. for those who need it the most.
- CNET Light Bulb Buying Guide – Use this guide to learn about the different types of bulbs you can use to make sure your loved ones have adequate lighting and a comfortable living environment.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
- Maintain Comfortable Temperatures: According to the the Centers for Disease Control, the older we are, the more difficult it is to adjust to sudden temperature changes. Medications and chronic disease also influence the body’s ability to regulate temperature. During the summer months, it is particularly important to make certain that older adults take measures to keep their home cool in an energy- and cost-efficient manner. Strategies you can use include properly using the air conditioning unit, bringing in portable fans and closing curtains to reduce heat gain. Also, keep in mind simple strategies such as ensuring windows are closed replacing air filters!
- Guide: Keeping Cool and Saving Money – The elderly are especially vulnerable to heat waves during the summer, so use this guide for taking steps to ensure your loved ones are enjoying a comfortable environment at their residence.
The website for Senior Ark’s tips for senior citizens on saving energy contains many helpful resources that senior citizens can use to save energy at home, including tips for:
- Lowering your heating bill
- Finding low income home energy assistance programs in your area
- Why incandescent light bulbs should be replaced by CFLs and LEDS
- Dealing with disputes with your utility company
- And more!
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