| Cooling | Refrigerator
Heating | Water | Dishwasher
1 Lighting accounts for about 15% of your home’s electric
use. New screw-in fluorescent bulbs, called Compact
Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL), can replace the incandescent ones
most of us use. Fluorescent bulbs are more expensive initially,
but they last 10 times longer and use 75% less electricity.
2 If you prefer incandescent bulbs, try to use “energy saver”
bulbs. These bulbs use halogen gases that allow the filament to
burn brighter while consuming less electricity.
3 Match as closely as possible light bulb wattage to lighting needs.
For example, a high wattage reading light in a hallway or alcove
is not energy efficient. Keep this practice in mind for your outdoor
fixtures too. Fixtures that cast their light downward help to reduce
the effects of light pollution
and provide more light where you want it. Be mindful of the impact
outdoor lighting can have on your neighbors and the environment.
4 Inside your home, lighting controls or timers can help save energy.
Timers can be set to turn lights on or off at predetermined times.
Photocell controls are sensitive to light and turn lamps on and
off at sundown and sunrise. Dimmers can vary the level of illumination
according to how much light you may want in a given situation. Outdoors,
motion detectors can save energy while providing a high degree of
security, while timers will turn off your outdoor fixtures automatically
at predetermined times.
5 Consider “task lighting” (lighting directed at a specific
area) instead of overhead or general lighting, which may light unused
areas of your home.
6 Keeping lights and fixtures clean can improve efficiency as much
as 20%. Take advantage of reflected light by keeping portable fixtures
as close as possible to light colored walls or other surfaces. These
easy steps may reduce the number and wattage of bulbs you need and
help you save on your energy bills.
7 You can increase your energy savings by installing fluorescent
bulbs in your outdoor fixtures too. Just make sure your fluorescent
light fixture has electronic ballast and has been approved for outdoor
use by the Underwriters Laboratory or similar organization. Use
sky-friendly fixtures that reduce sky glow and light trespass on
your neighbors property.
8 Make sure your air conditioner is the proper size for the area
you are cooling. The wrong size air conditioner will use more electricity
and increase your energy bills.A unit that is too large for a given
area will cool the area too quickly, causing the air conditioner
to frequently turn itself on and off. If a unit shuts off quickly,
chances are it hasn’t been running long enough to reduce the
room’s humidity and you’ll be uncomfortable. If your
air conditioner is too small, it will run constantly on hot days
without ever getting good results.
9 The location of your air conditioner has a lot to do with how
efficient it will be. If you have a choice, locate your units on
the north, east or the best-shaded side of your home. If the unit
is exposed to direct sunlight, it has to work much harder and use
more energy to cool your home. Keep shrubbery away from your air
conditioner since it blocks vents and reduces the unit’s ability
to exhaust air.
10 Regular maintenance will insure that your air conditioner operates
efficiently throughout the summer. Check the filter once a month
by holding it up to a bright light. If you can’t see through
it, it’s time to clean or replace the filter. You can also
check your owner’s guide to find out how to safely clean the
condenser coils and fins on the outside of the unit.
11 On very hot days, you can save energy by closing the fresh air
intake on your unit. Cooling fresh, warm outside air requires more
electricity than re-cooling the air that is already circulating
in your home.
12 You can save energy on cooling by avoiding cooling rooms that
are not occupied. If you like your home to be cool when you come
home at the end of the day, special automatic timers for air conditioners
are available that will turn the unit on before you arrive home.
13 On hot summer days, the temperature in your attic can reach 150
degrees. Improving the ventilation in your attic will lower the
temperature of the entire house and make your air conditioner’s
job much easier. Installing an attic fan that is controlled by a
thermostat to exhaust the hot air can greatly improve the comfort
of your home.
14 Depending on the size of your home, you can save 3% on your cooling
costs for every degree you raise your thermostat in the summer.
Raising the thermostat from 73 to 78 degrees can mean savings of
up to 15% in cooling costs.
15 Fans can make your air conditioner’s job easier. Pedestal
and ceiling fans improve the air circulation in your home, allowing
you to raise the air conditioner’s thermostat. In moderate
heat, fans can sometimes completely replace air conditioners. Ceiling
fans use only about one tenth the electricity of a typical home
air conditioner, and therefore cost only one-tenth as much to operate.
16 To stay most comfortable during the hottest hours of the day,
do your cooking, laundry and bathing in the early morning or late
evenings. These activities all increase the level of humidity in
your home, making it less comfortable. If other heat generating
appliances, such as irons, ovens and blow dryers are used only in
the early morning or late evening, your home will stay cooler.
17 Drapes, shades and awnings shield windows from the hot sun and
keep your home cooler. If you have air conditioning, your storm
windows also come in handy during the summer since they keep cool
air in and hot air out. Weather-stripping and caulking windows and
door frames will also keep cool air from leaking out. Certain reflective
films can be used on windows to screen out the hot rays of the sun
without reducing the amount of light you receive. And, when doors
and windows are shut, your air conditioner will operate more efficiently.
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Refrigerator & Freezer Tips
18 Like other appliances that heat and cool, refrigerators are big
energy users. If your refrigerator door does not shut tightly, check
the door seal to see if it needs to be cleaned or replaced. A door
leak allows cool air to escape, forcing your refrigerator to use
more energy to keep food cold.
19 Cleaning the condenser coils found in the back or bottom of the
refrigerator will maximize its efficiency. A brush or vacuum can
be used. Be sure to unplug the refrigerator before you start cleaning.
20 Keep the refrigerator away from appliances that create heat,
such as ovens and dishwashers; windows; and heating ducts. Direct
exposure to heat forces the unit to work harder and use more energy.
21 When purchasing a new refrigerator, consider a high efficiency
model. Compare yellow EnergyGuide labels and choose the unit that
uses the least amount of electricity.
22 A freezer’s efficiency is increased by keeping its compartment
full. Be careful not to block the fan that allows cold air to circulate.
23 Although automatic defrost refrigerators are convenient, their
defrosting features use a lot of electricity.A manual defrost refrigerator
typically uses 36% less energy.
24 Check temperature settings for the most efficient appliance operation.
Refrigerator temperature should be 36-38 degrees and freezer temperature
should be 0-5 degrees.
25 Ninety percent of the energy your washer uses goes toward heating
water. You can save energy dollars by using hot water only for heavily
soiled laundry. Today, detergents are specially formulated to work
just as well in cold water. If you must use hot water, you can save
by using cold water rinses.
26 Run the washer only when you have a full load of laundry to save
energy and water.
27 If you have more than one load of clothes to dry, try to do each
load immediately after the one before to use the heat left over
from the previous cycle and increase the efficiency of the dryer.
28 If you’re in the market for a new clothes dryer, consider
purchasing one with a “moisture sensing” device that
shuts off automatically when your clothes are dry so the dryer doesn’t
run longer than needed.
29 You can reduce drying time and energy use by setting your timer
carefully. Drying your clothes longer than necessary wastes energy
and shortens the life of the fabric. Other side effects include
shrinkage and static cling.
30 Dry heavy and light fabrics separately to keep drying time to
a minimum. Mixing different weight fabrics causes the dryer to run
longer than necessary.
31 Remember to check the lint filter before each load. Lint buildup
blocks air flow and lengthens drying time, and can be a fire hazard
32 Check the filters in your warm air heating system monthly and
replace or clean them when they become dirty. Have your heating
system checked periodically by a licensed professional.
insulation in walls, ceilings and floors also significantly reduces
the loss of heat to the outdoors. Insulation will pay for itself
in fuel cost savings and home comfort.
34 Storm windows and doors are big energy and money savers. They
can reduce heating costs by as much as 15% by preventing warm air
from escaping to the outside. Double glazed and thermopane windows
or even clear plastic across windows can minimize heat escape.
35 The many small openings in a home can add up to big heat losses.
Caulking and weather-stripping cracks in walls and floors, windows
and doors will save fuel and money. Keeping the fireplace damper
closed tightly when not in use will also result in heating cost
36 Letting sunlight in by opening curtains, blinds and shades over
windows facing the sun helps keep your home warm and reduces heating
needs. At night or when the sky is overcast, keeping drapes and
curtains closed will help keep the warmth indoors.
37 Dry air makes you feel colder than moist air at the same temperature.
Maintaining home humidity will produce personal comfort at a lower
thermostat setting and save money. Shallow pans of water on radiator
tops or near warm air vents, or a room humidifier, will help raise
38 Insulate heating hot air ducts and hot water pipes that provide
heat to the rooms in your home. This will reduce heat loss in uninsulated
areas and will help your heating system work more efficiently.
39 Keeping your heating thermostat at the lowest temperature comfortable
for you will save on heating costs
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40 The water heater is the second largest energy consumer in the
home. Using it efficiently can add up to big savings. For families
with an automatic dishwasher, the hot water heater setting can safely
be lowered to 130-140 degrees. If the automatic dishwasher has a
water temperature booster, the water heater temperature can be set
to 110-120 degrees. If your house will be vacant for two or more
days, you can lower the temperature of your water heater even more
until you return. If you have a new water heater, drain a few gallons
from your tank every six months to remove sediment that accumulates
and reduces the heater’s efficiency.
41 Leaky faucets can add to your hot water bill so repair them as
soon as possible. The constant drip wastes water, energy and money.
You can also save by installing an inexpensive “flow control”
device in shower heads and faucets.
42 Wrapping a fiberglass blanket around your water heater and securing
it with duct tape, or installing a ready-made insulation kit can
save up to 10% on water heating costs. Most new water heaters are
already insulated, so this tip is most effective for heaters that
are more than five years old. Also, insulate hot water pipes to
reduce heat loss as the hot water is flowing to your faucets.
43 Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons
of water in a short period.
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44 Be sure your dishwasher is full, but not overloaded. Don't use
the "rinse hold" on your Machine for just a few soiled
dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
45 Washing dishes by hand may not save energy or money. In fact,
you can probably save energy using the dishwasher since hand washing
usually requires more hot water.
46 When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for models that require
less hot water. Dishwashers differ in the number of gallons of hot
water used in the wash cycle. The manufacturer's specifications
or the EnergyGuide label should list this information.
47 Many new dishwashers have an internal water heater that raises
the temperature of the incoming water to 140 degrees. This device
allows you to turn down the temperature on the water heater in your
home and still have your dishes washed thoroughly.
48 Take advantage of the energy saving control on many dishwashers.
It turns off the heat during the drying cycle. Opening the dishwasher
after the rinse cycle and letting the dishes air dry is another
way to save energy.
49 A microwave oven is an energy-efficient alternative to a conventional
oven. It cooks food more quickly and it uses 70-80% less electricity
than a regular oven.
50 When you’re cooking on top of the range, use pots and pans
that are properly sized to “fit” the burners. Using
a small pan on a large burner wastes energy and can be a safety
hazard. Cookware with flat bottoms and tight covers is your best
choice. Always cook with lids on your pans, to keep the heat inside
and speed up cooking time.
51 If you do use a conventional oven, try to avoid “peeking”
by opening the oven door. Each “peek” can lower the
oven temperature by 25 degrees. Use a toaster oven to cook small
52 Although often recommended, it’s not really necessary to
preheat the oven for foods with a cooking time of over one hour.
Using glass pans allows you to set the oven 25 degrees lower because
glass retains heat.
53 When preparing a meal in your oven, try to use foods that are
cooked at about the same temperature. That way your oven can cook
several dishes at the same time.
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public interest organization that promotes conservation of the natural
environment by influencing public policy decisions -- legislative,
administrative, legal, and electoral.
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