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Energy tip #2: inflate your tires
Fresh off the heels of Tip #1, I bring you Tip #2: inflate your tires. It’s often said that the best things in life are free. And while I’m still waiting for someone to send a free bag of coffee beans to headquarters, inflating your tires doesn’t cost a penny. In fact, it pays you about $57 a year.
According to the the U.S. Department of Energy, you can improve your gas mileage by about 3.3% if you keep your tires at their appropriate pressure. For a vehicle that gets the national average 19.6 mpg and is driven the national average 12,000 miles per year (presumably toting the national average 2.2 children), properly inflated tires result in a savings of about 20 gallons of gas each year. With gas at $2.93/gallon, your net savings is $57, enough for a Standard TerraPass plus a work-week of performance-enhancing java.
I’ve included a spreadsheet that allows you to enter in your average mpg and miles driven to derive your expected savings. One of the nice things that I noticed in doing this a few weeks ago is the improved performance of the vehicle. You can definitely feel the difference when you drive. According to the same DOE website, properly juiced tires also increase safety and last longer.
Most importantly, you’ll be sparing the air 383 lbs of CO2 emissions. Make that 12,383 lbs of CO2 if you spring for the Standard TerraPass.
So there you have it, earn the first 383 lbs by pumping up the Goodyears and the next 12,000 are a cinch.