Residential Energy-Saving Tips
The following are great tips to save on energy costs, some of them are easy and low cost and
any homeowner with a hammer and screwdriver can do in a weekend or less to start saving on costly
and recycle your old refrigerator and purchase
energy-efficient models. Units that are only 10 years old can
use twice as much as electricity as a new ENERGY STAR® labeled model.
- Insulate ceilings to at least R-30 standards if your attic has less
- Caulk around windows and doors and anywhere air leaks in or out, especially
around outlets and other openings like plumbing pipes. Be careful not to
caulk around exhaust vents, pipes or other things of this nature like you
find with a gas hot water heater or furnace. There is a special
fire-resistant caulk available for these applications.
- Weatherstrip around windows and doors and other openings.
heating and cooling ducts with duct wrap, or use
- Install energy-saver showerheads. This is can be a very easy, fast and
cheap DYI (Do it yourself) project to cut costs, especially if you have kids!
- When buying new appliances, be sure to purchase
energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® labeled models.
the furnace thermostat at 68 degrees or lower during cold weather, and the
air-conditioner thermostat at 78 degrees or higher when it's hot.
Three to five percent more energy
is used for each degree the furnace is set above 68
degrees and for each degree the air conditioner is set
below 78 degrees.
- If your old air conditioner is on its way out replace it
with ENERGY STAR® labeled energy-efficient model. For central air, be
sure to have timely maintenance checks done and that the system is not
overcharged or undercharged with refrigerant. Most of us use HVAC or
heating and cooling contractors that handle this, but keeping an eye on what
they are doing is recommended. There is a tag on your unit that specifies how much
refrigerant, in pounds, should be in the unit. This amount plus consideration for
length of the lines is the idea here. Too much refrigerant and your compressor
is overworked and fails prematurely. Not enough and the whole system has to work
longer to cool your house. So the correct amount is imperative here, DON'T be
afraid to watch and ask questions. If your HVAC contractor is disatisified with
your involvment, you have the wrong contractor anyway.
compact fluorescent lamps. You can lower your lighting
bill by converting to energy-efficient low-wattage
compact fluorescent lighting and fixtures.
- Replace old windows with new high performance dual pane
windows. Be sure to observe the "Low-E" rating or inquire
to your contractor that he is using windows that utilize low-e.
- Clean or replace furnace and air-conditioner filters
regularly, following manufacturer's instructions.
- Set the water heater thermostat at 140 degrees or
"normal." If you have a dishwasher. Otherwise, set it
at 120 degrees or "low".
- Fix bad plumbing or dripping faucets.
dripping hot water faucet can waste hundreds of gallons of
water a month. That not only increases water bills,
but also increases the gas or electric bill for
heating the water.
only full loads in a dishwasher and use the shortest
cycle that will get your dishes clean. If operating
instructions allow, turn off the dishwasher before the
drying cycle, open the door and let the dishes air dry.
- Defrost refrigerators and freezers before ice buildup becomes
1/4 inch thick.
shades, awnings or sunscreens on windows facing south
and/or west to block summer light. In winter, open
shades on sunny days to help warm rooms.
the damper when the fireplace is not being used. Try
not to use the fireplace and central heating system at
the same time.
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