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Energy Efficiency Tools and Tips

Zero Cost Energy Saving Tips

·         Turn off lights, TVs, computers and other electronics when not in use

·         Plug electronics into a power strip and turn the strip off when not in use.

·  Set your water heater thermostat at 120 degrees.

·         Keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight to enter and closed at night to reduce the chill from cold windows. In the summer, keep the window coverings closed during the day to prevent solar gain

Low Cost Energy Saving Tips

·         Seal air leaks inside and around the exterior of your home. Check around fixtures that penetrate walls, such as exhaust fans and electrical outlets. Look for unfilled gaps and cracks near dryer vents, chimneys and faucet pipes.

·         Seal leaks between moving parts with weather stripping, such as between a door and its frame. Caulk cracks between windows and walls, as well as around door frames.

·         Ducts that move air to and from a forced air furnace or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating system by as much as 20% or more.

·         Change the filters on your HVAC system monthly.  Have your furnace checked by a professional to make sure it’s operating safely and at its optimal level.

·         Have a programmable thermostat installed to automatically raise and lower home temperatures for energy savings by day and night.

·         Use ceiling fans in frequently used rooms.  Remember to shut off the fan when no one is in the room.

Energy Saving Tips that Require an Investment

Energy efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they can yield long-term financial rewards. Energy efficient appliances and improvements may come with a price tag, but reduced utility bills will more than make up for the higher price.

Insulation Guidance

Only 20% of homes built before 1980 are well insulated. You probably need more insulation if you are uncomfortably cold in the winter or hot in the summer. Adding insulation creates a more uniform temperature. The attic is the easiest place to add insulation to improve your comfort and the efficiency of your home.

Save Energy with Lighting

An average household dedicates 10% of its energy budget to lighting. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50 to 75%. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time lights are on but not being used.

·         ENERGY STAR qualified lighting provides bright, warm light and uses about 75% less energy than standard lighting, produces 75% less heat and lasts up to 10 times longer.

  • Make the switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.

·         Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, offer better light quality than incandescent bulbs, last 25 times longer and use even less energy than CFLs.

Energy Saving Appliances

Appliances account for about 17% of your household’s energy consumption, with refrigerators, clothes washers and clothes dryers at the top of the consumption list. When shopping for new appliances, think of two price tags. The first is the purchase price and the second is the operating cost. You’ll be paying the operating cost every month on your utility bill for the next 10 to 20 years depending on the appliance.

·         ENERGY STAR dishwashers use less water and 41% less energy than required by federal standards.

·         ENERGY STAR refrigerators use at least 20% less energy than required by federal standards. Top freezer models are more energy efficient than side-by-side refrigerators. Features like ice makers and water dispensers will increase energy use.

·         Run your dishwasher with a full load and use the air-dry option if available. Save water and energy by scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before loading them in the dishwasher.

·         Remember that 80 to 85% of energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. Using cold water for laundry can save you up to $63 a year!