EPA Outlines How to Reduce Your Home’s Carbon Footprint

Summer with its hot temperatures and air conditioning is almost here. The three main sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from homes are energy use, heating, and waste. The average home emits about four metric tons of carbon (nearly 9,000 pounds) per person every year. Energy use accounts for 7.4 metric tons (about 16,290 lbs.). 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlined ways people can reduce their carbon footprint this summer. The first thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint this summer is to buy a programmable thermostat if you do not have one. Set the thermostat at energy saving temperatures when you are not at home or at night. Energy Star thermostats have pre-programmed settings. Keep in mind that when you override the pre-programmed settings you use more energy. Turning the thermostat down one degree will reduce your home’s carbon emissions by 220 lbs. a year.

Install the thermostat on an interior wall away from appliances, doorways, skylights, and windows. There is an added bonus to using Energy Star thermostats properly: you can save up to $180.

Inspect your home’s duct system for leaks and disconnections. Most homes leak 20 percent or more. Seal all leaks with foil tape or a special sealant called “duct mastic.”

Seal all air leaks in your home. Keep in mind that the majority of air leaks occur in the attic, basement, around doors, windows, vents, pipes, and electrical outlets. Seal the leaks with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping. Sealing air leaks will save you up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs, or up to 10 percent on your total energy bill.

Add insulation to block your home’s heat gain in summer, and heat loss in winter. Proper insulation can reduce your homes carbon emissions by 1,760 lbs. a year.

Check the air filter on your home’s cooling system monthly, and change it every three months. Clean and adjust your cooling system’s blower components so air flows properly. If you have a central air conditioner, check its refrigerant charge and adjust it if needed so it meets the manufacturer’s specifications.


Edward Willis
Edward Willis8 years ago

do those things really work or is it something else that we need to stay away from?

Aaaaaad Dddddda
Aaaaaad Dddddda8 years ago

No, the government is only finding ways to save our economy. They can't monitor every house in America and how efficient is is and the air leaks etc. That's why there are blogs for this stuff, to allow us to do it ourselves instead of relying on the government.

Amanda R.
Amanda R8 years ago

Does it make anyone else a little angry that a US government agency who can do anything they want to help the environment is choosing to tell individuals to change the way they maintain their homes?

Natalie S.
Natalie S8 years ago

A lot of these things are very easy to do and do make a difference. Good job!!

Erik Emro
Erik E8 years ago

Anne, I don't understand how heaven is going to help us. We were more religious in the 1950s than we are now and our do as we want attitudes then seem to have caused a bunch of problems today. I guess God was too busy being praised to give us a heads up! As much as I wish the answer were there, I don't think that heaven is going to help us out of this mess.

I am glad that the EPA has put out some practical tips. I need to get a new garage door, it turns out. Who knew?! Plus, saving 10% on my energy bills would be great. This is one of many small things that we can all do to make a huge difference. The US is fossil fuel crazy and by taking small steps, we can reduce the fervor and gain the perspective that being ecologically friendly is both convenient and the right thing to do. Our kids deserve better than what we are passing down right now - a depleted and tired planet with a fever.

Anne C.
Anne C8 years ago

If our grandchildren are the future someone out there has to make it real.

Who can change it?

We all need blessings for inspiration, regardless of your personal religious background praise God a.m. and p.m....Im sure we will all get ideas coming from Heaven as to how to make this planet the
Paradise meant to be.....


David Chura
David Chura8 years ago

Hum bug! Blind FOOLS! Everyone thinks they can make a difference! No mater what you do nothing will help as much as we need constant magnetic acceleration energy! FACT! You can turn down the heat all you want and do all of many things, but these will not stop global warming. The carbon footprint is still not changing! We need research for the ultimate in energy. "CMA energy" Would you would like to help? Here's a simple way. You buy online products from Amazon? Would you like to see all of the commissions from your product purchases go for energy research? You heard right! Then there is only ONE linking that will do this! Find the links and use on this website links ONLY, www.ClimateChangeMagneticEnergy.com Support this research by telling all your friends now before it's to late to turn around global warming and to stop the carbon footprint build up! Recently we were told by 2050 there has to be absolutely NO pollution from fossil fuels or there will be no turning this situation around. Not even the use of alternatives is slowing this down. Let's stop it now! This research is needed now more then ever! Save the life of you children's future.

Ann G.
Ann G8 years ago

I am glad that the EPA has released these tips. My only concern is that people will think it is to hard to check and won't.