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Home Energy Saving Tips
Energy Star .. New appliances labeled with the "Energy Star" symbol save money. One example: if your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, it's using up to twice the energy of a new one.
Smart Move .. Put light-and-motion sensors on your outside lights. "Smart" lights save money: they come on only when you need them, and you don't have to remember to turn them off in the morning.
Tight Weatherstripping .. Quickly pays for its self, and it's easy to install and maintain. Without it, your furance tries to heat the great outdoors .... and that's expensive.
Passive Solar Heat .. Open the drapes on south-facing windows and let the sun heat your rooms. At night, close the drapes again. Keep drapes closed over large windows that don't get direct sun. You can lose more than 15% of your heat through unprotected windows.
Clean Up Your Cooler .. Your air conditioner needs clean coils to perform at top efficiency, and your bill goes up with each layer of dirt you allow to accumulate ... Better have a look.
Drip .. Drip .. Drip Studies show that a dripping faucet can waste over 200 gallons of water a month - a high price to pay, on top of the annoyance. Fix that faucet!
It All Comes Out In The Wash .. If your clothes washer is getting tired, think about replacing it. New ones use 5% less energy, and many use 75% less water. Some come with rebates too.
Every Home Needs A Warm Hat .. Insulating your attic is probably the single easiest way to make big cuts in your home heating and cooling costs. Studies show that R-30 insulation in the average attic cuts these bills by 20% to 30%.
Falling Through The Cracks .. Gaps around flues and vents where they pass through framing, holes around pipes where they pass into walls, poorly fitted heat registers, even the gaps around light switches and outlets - all permit cold-air infiltration. Calk and seal these, and you'll find a tangible difference in your comfort, and lower energy bills to boot.
Warm Feet .. Up to 25% of the energy you buy to heat your home may be lost through un-insulated raised floors. Insulate them to R-19, and get what you're paying for!
Bright Idea .. Florescent lamps save more that 30% of lighting costs vs. incandescent. Modern screw-in fluorescents come in warm colors that mimic the old money-wasters--so you don't have to put with that blue glow.
Wash In cold Water Whenever You Can .. Not only does it save you money, but modern detergents are designed for cold water and it gets rid of the lint better.
Frugal Showers .. Much of your energy bill goes to heating water, and much of that hot water flows through your showerheads, and you'll save every day.
Old Windows .. Are a major source of heat gain and loss. Make sure all windows are tight and well calked. If they're beyond repair, it may be time for new ones.
Dish Up The Savings .. Wash only full loads in your dishwasher. If yours has an integral water heater, you can lower your water heater to 120 degrees. Don't use electricity to dry the dishes. Open the door a bit, and the dishes will dry quickly just from their residual heat.
Washday Wisdom .. Plan your laundry day so as to wash and dry only full loads. Clean the dryer lint trap with every use. On sunny days, hank clothes out to dry.
Here Comes The Sun .. To reduce air conditioning costs, use shades, awnings, or sun screens on south and west-facing windows during the air conditioning season.
Evening Breezes .. In our Orange County climate, there is a point in the evening at which you can turn off your air conditioner and open doors and windows. Know that time and observe it. Also, consider a whole-house fan. These economical units pull huge amounts of cool air into down-stairs windows after sundown, and exhaust it through attic vents - a good idea, all around.
Chilling Out This Summer .. Keep your air-conditioner thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. You must buy 3% to 5% more energy per degree if you set it lower. That really adds up!
Get With The Program .. Programmable thermostats are the only way to go. If you don't have one, get one! Inexpensive and easy to install and set-up, these devices give your thermostat a brain. Most offer morning-day-evening-night programs for weekdays and weekends, and save every day you use one of these great units.
A Matter Of Degree .. As heating season arrives, keep your furnace thermostat at 68 degrees or lower. You must buy 3% to 5% more energy for each extra degree you set on your thermostat. Is it worth it??
Duct Work .. If your heating/cooling ducts are not insulated, you could be losing as much as 50% of the energy you're spending on heating and cooling. Insulate all exposed ducts to R-6 and use insulated ducting in all new construction.
Vacation Reminder .. Shut off or turn down automatic appliances such as air conditioners and your water heater. Leave a gas heater on "pilot" while you're away. It will only take an hour or so to reheat the tank when you return.