Energy Saving Ideas
Saving energy means saving money. How much money have you saved recently? The following tips can help you save more. These tips will give you advice about immediate low-cost steps you can take to save energy and money, and about investments in energy-efficient equipment that may help you save more.
Keep Warm in Winter
For heating, set the thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night and turn it off when you are away or on vacation.
You may want to consider the purchase and installation of a clock thermostat for your furnace that turns the heat down automatically when you are away or asleep and brings the temperature back to a comfortable level before you return or wake up.
For every degree you lower heating in the 60 to 70 degree range, you will save up to three percent on heating costs. Seniors and people with special heating needs should check with their doctors before changing normal home temperatures.
Insulate to Keep the Heat Where It is Needed Most
By installing insulation, a homeowner can cut up to 20 percent off a heating or cooling bill. The attic is one of the most important places to insulate.
The insulation's R-value is the measure of how well insulation keeps warm air from escaping through it. R-value is determined by a laboratory test in which an insulation material is sandwiched between a cool and a warm surface.The ability of the material to resist temperature changes results in an R-value for that material. The higher the number, the greater the insulating value.
Keep Attic Vents Open
Ventilation above the attic insulation lets moisture escape, preventing damage to insulation in the winter and keeps attics cooler in the summer.
Stop Air Leaks
Gaps and holes where plumbing pipes and wires enter the home and around exhaust fans and vents as they exit the home should be caulked and stuffed with insulation.
Cut Air Drafts
If you can see daylight or feel a draft through a crack under or over a door, you may want to consider weather stripping.
Two Ways to Save on Water Heating
If you have a dishwasher, set the temperature to 130-135 degrees. If you do not have a dishwasher, a setting of 122 degrees Fahrenheit is considered efficient and sanitary and will help prevent scalding injuries. For every degree you lower the temperature on a 40-gallon gas water heater, you will save about 1.5 therms a year.
A water heater insulation wrap keeps heat from being lost through the tank walls.
Use Windows to Your Advantage During The Winter
Open draperies to let the sunshine in on bright days. Consider using insulated draperies and shades. Close draperies or pull down shades at night, or when temperatures drop.
Monitor Your Fireplace
Keep the damper closed unless you have a fire going. An open damper can let up to eight percent of the home's heat escape out the chimney. Glass doors on the fireplace can help stop air leakage. If you use the fireplace to heat your home, invest on an air blower to circulate the warm air.
Your Energy Guide to Savings
When you are shopping for new natural gas appliances, look for the EnergyGuide label with information on operating costs and energy efficiency. The facts you should look for are displayed on the label and include:
- Estimated yearly energy cost;
- A range of estimated yearly energy costs of competing models in the same product category;
- A statement that energy costs will vary with local rates and individual use patterns;
- A table showing the energy cost of the appliance based on a range of utility rates and, when applicable, on consumer use patterns;
- Ask your salesperson to show you how you can use this EnergyGuide label to compute the payback time for energy-efficient appliances.