saving tips that lower your energy costs
Around the House:
Longer days mean shorter nights. Don't forget to adjust
your outdoor lighting timers. You'll save money and extend bulb
Keep your home comfortable without air conditioning
on all but the hottest days.
Keep windows closed in the heat of the day. Open windows
in the cool of the night.
Resist opening and closing doors. Shut the door or
at least try to minimize the number of times that doors to the outside
are opened and closed. Each time you open the door heat enters the
Close the curtains. Close drapes and shades on windows
during the day to keep heat from the sun out of your house (particularly
on windows with an eastern and western exposure). In the evening
opening drapes and shades lets the heat escape through the windows.
Insulation in your attic protects your home from excessive
heat penetration in summer and cold penetration in winter. Invest
in attic insulation for year-round comfort and efficiency.
Make sure roof ventilation is adequate to prevent
heat buildup in summer and moisture buildup in winter.
Use floor and ceiling fans to create gentle breezes
to keep you and your family comfortable.
Use compact fluorescent lighting wherever you can.
Compact fluorescents use very little energy and produce much less
waste heat than incandescent and halogen lights.
In the Kitchen:
Turn on your range hood when cooking to exhaust waste
heat from your home. Coordinate meal planning with the seasons.
Remember, nothing tastes better than a cold meal on a hot day.
Keep your oven door tightly closed. Use the oven light
to check on progress when baking or roasting.
Select right-sized pots and pans with tight-fitting
lids and cook at lower temperatures to reduce energy use. A six-inch
pan on an eight-inch element, for example, wastes 40% of the element's
Make full use of microwave ovens in hot weather. Microwave
cooking can reduce energy consumption by two-thirds and produces
much less waste heat than your stove. Toaster ovens and slow cookers
are also a great way to reduce energy use in the kitchen.
When you run the dishwasher use full loads. Use your
range hood when the dishwasher is operating to vent excess heat
and humidity outdoors.
Avoid activities that add heat or humidity to your
home, particularly during the hottest parts of the day or limit
them to times when nobody is home. For example, turn on your dishwasher
as you leave the house or let dishes air dry rather than use the
Vacuum your refrigerator's cooling coils every three
months. Excessive dust buildup will reduce the energy efficiency
and life expectancy of the compressor. Make sure there are no gaps
in the door seal.
Don't overfill your refrigerator-freezer; cool air
needs to circulate freely throughout the interior of the appliance.
In the Laundry Room
Don't use your washing machine for a few small items;
wait for a full load. Use the cold water cycle whenever possible
Clean the clothes dryer filter after each load, and
clean the dryer duct regularly. Clogged filters and ducts restrict
airflow, decrease energy efficiency and can be a fire hazard.
Inspect and maintain your cooling system. Simple measures
such as cleaning and replacing clogged air filters can reduce cooling
costs up to 10%. An annual service call will extend the life of
your expensive cooling equipment and boost efficiency.
Don't forget cooling system ductwork. Leaking joints,
elbows and connections can boost energy consumption 20 to 30%. Use
duct mastic to seal loose joints.
Adjust your air conditioner's thermostat when you
go out, and shut your system down when you are away for extended
periods. Unnecessary cooling costs money.
Walk away from the thermostat. Your house won't cool
down any faster if you lower the thermostat setting. When your air
conditioner is on it cools at the same rate regardless of the temperature
Open the doors. A breeze on a summer day can be enough
to keep you cool. Instead of turning the air conditioner on, open
doors and windows on opposite sides of the house for cross ventilation.
When using your air conditioner, close all windows,
doors and chimney dampers when using your air conditioner. Don't
use your hard-earned money to cool the great outdoors. Unused rooms
should be closed off to cut cooling costs.
Raise the thermostat. Raising the thermostat just
6°F can save 10% on your cooling bill. To compensate, the breeze
created by a ceiling fan or portable fan typically makes you feel
just as comfortable at a temperature 6°F warmer.
Dehumidifier Benefits. Consider using a dehumidifier
instead of turning on the air conditioning. You will be comfortable
at much higher temperatures if you reduce the humidity.
Vacuum dehumidifier evaporation coils. Dust builds
up on the evaporation coils of every dehumidifier after steady use,
causing them to use more energy. Unplug yours and vacuum the coils
every 6-12 months.
Wash/change dehumidifier filters. Dirty filters cause
dehumidifiers to use more energy with poorer results. Replace your
disposable or wash your permanent filter at least yearly.
By now, you've probably heard the bad news—home heating prices
are likely to rise by 30 to 50% this winter (which is forecast
to be a cold one). But there is some good news as well. There
are some simple steps that you can take around your home that can
save you money while you keep yourself and your family warm and
Many households could save 20-30 percent on their household energy
bills by implementing energy efficiency improvements. As an added
bonus, you get to help the planet by saving energy and reducing
greenhouse gas emissions.
Simple things you can do:
Turn your thermostat down several degrees when leaving the house
for the day or extended periods of time. One easy way to do this
is to purchase a programmable thermostat. You can also save by turning
the thermostat down a couple of degrees all the time
Make sure your water heater is in good condition and keep the water
temperature between 115-120 degrees. Even consider getting a tankless
water heater that only heats the water you need.
Limit your time spent in the shower to cut down on hot water usage.
You can also install aerators to save on the amount of water you
use while showering - this will cut down on the amount of hot water
Try and use cold water as often as possible when doing the laundry
and line or rack dry your clothes - here is an example of a large
drying rack you might wish to use - other racks are readily available
at your local hardware or home stores.
Make sure to turn off the lights when you are not in a room.
Shut the doors to rooms you don't use on a regular basis.
Keep baseboards clean and unrestricted by furniture and carpet or
Use the smallest oven or burner when cooking, or a crock pot, or
use the smallest pan possible.
Don't peek into the oven as you are cooking.
Defrost foods in the refrigerator before cooking.
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in standard fixtures.
Replace or clean your furnace filters monthly. This could save up
to 5% on your heating bill
Long-term energy saving investments:
Buy Green - many utilities offer rebates in return for purchasing
efficient appliances through the Federal Government's Energy Star
Seal up your home. Seal air leaks and add insulation.
Weatherize your windows.
Upgrade your windows. Look for windows with multiple layers of glazing,
and approved by the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council),
a non-profit collaboration of window manufacturers.
When buying a new furnace or boiler, make sure you purchase one
with a more efficient AFUE or adjusted fuel utilization efficiency.
The AFUE is the amount of heat actually delivered to your house
compared to the amount of fuel that you supply the furnace. Thus,
a furnace that has an 80% AFUE rating converts 80% of the fuel that
you supply to heat -- the other 20% is lost out of the chimney.
All Energy Star approved furnaces have AFUE ratings of 90% or more.
Help sometimes comes at a price or with a hidden agenda,
but our helpful guides have neither. We hope that the information
in our Leewood Times Guides give you starting
points and focus. Our goal is to assist you in making informed decisions.
Here are the links to all the Leewood
345 Money Saving
75 Money Saving Travel Tips
2008 Winter Guide
Times Bar-B-Que Tips & Tricks
Leewood Times Employment
Times Energy Saving Tips Winter
Leewood Times Guide to
Times Guide to Fall Festivals
Times Guide to Going Green
Times Guide to Holiday Entertaining
Guide to Local Farmers Markets
Guide to New Years Resolutions
Guide to Seasonal Allergies & Pollen
Times Guide to Spring Cleaning
Leewood Times Guide to
the Capital Beltway
Leewood Times Guide to Volunteering
Leewood Times Guide to Voting
Leewood Times Spring
Yard Maintenance Tips
Summer Fun Guide
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