Saving Energy = Saving Money. You Have The Power!

June 24, 2009

in Living Green

Follow these simple steps to save energy in your home. You’ll also save money, and you’ll be doing your part to help save the environment. YOU HAVE THE POWER to make a difference.

BE A FRUGAL GOURMET

  • Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than your microwave. It uses approximately two-thirds less energy than your stove.
  • Clean your pots and pans well. Dirty, dull pans absorb heat instead of reflecting it.
  • Check foods through the oven window. You could be losing 25 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit each time you open the oven door.
  • Match your pan/pot to the surface burner. A pan that fits the burner cooks better.

FORGO DISHPAN HANDS

  • Use your dishwasher. Surprise! Your dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand.
  • Before loading, scrape off dishes and rinse them quickly in cold water.
  • Don’t crowd your dishes. And don’t block the spray arms when you load.
  • Don’t use the Rinse-Hold cycle. It takes 3 to 7 gallons of hot water.
  • Let dishes air-dry to save even more!

(Source: U.S. Department of Energy:  Energy Savers – Dishwashers)

SAVE LOADS WITH EVERY LAUNDRY CYCLE

  • Don’t use an entire washing machine cycle for only a few garments.
  • On the other hand, jamming too much into a wash load causes extra wrinkles and lint.
  • Clean the lint screen, and double-check the pockets of your garments.
  • You’ll save with every load when you use cooler water. And cold water helps reduce lint.
  • A hand iron uses as much energy as 10 100-watt light bulbs. Use this item sparingly, and don’t let it sit long in the on position.

(Source: U.S. Department of Energy:  Energy Savers – Laundry)

FILL ‘ER UP

  • Having lots of food in your refrigerator keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. So your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to stay cool.

PREVENT WASTE

  • Turn off appliances, lights and equipment when they are not in use.
  • Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they are not in use. Most new electronics use electricity even when switched “off.”
  • Turn computers and printers off at the power strip.

(Source: U.S. Department of Energy:  Appliances & Electronics)

OUT WITH THE OLD

  • Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to run longer, increasing energy use. Replace filters monthly for maximum benefit.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

  • Replace incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). They are more efficient and last longer.
  • Keep fixtures, bulbs and shades clean.
  • Consider three-way lamps and dimming switches to keep lighting at a minimum, for safety reasons, when you’re not home or in the office.
  • Consider task lighting (desk or table lamps) instead of whole room lighting.

(Source: U.S. Department of Energy:  Lighting & Daylighting)

KEEP YOUR COOL

  • Choose air conditioning units with thermostat controls and programmable timers.
  • Open windows and shades during the evening when it’s cooler.
  • Use blinds, shades, and awnings to keep the heat out.
  • Do not place lamps or TV sets near your air conditioning thermostat.
  • Close off unoccupied rooms and shut their air conditioning vents.

Use trees and landscaping for shading purposes.

HEAT THINGS UP

  • Turn down the thermostat. Wear warm clothing and set the thermostat to 68° or lower during the day and evening, health permitting.
  • Roll up towels and put them at the bottom of doors to stop drafts.
  • Switch off heating when you are out of the house.
  • Keep heating registers and air vents clear of obstacles, and make sure you clean or replace furnace filters regularly.
  • Cover wall-mounted air conditioners with plastic film or an airtight cover.
  • Close the fireplace damper after the fire is out.
  • Do not use fireplaces while your central heating system in on.

(Source: U.S. Department of Energy:  Heating & Cooling)

STAY IN HOT WATER

  • Wrap insulation around water heaters and long-run hot water pipes.
  • Match the water heater size to your needs, and set the temperature at 120°-140°.
  • Turn the thermostat down to a minimum on the water heater when you are away for more than two days.

CONSERVE WATER

  • Install an ultra low-flow toilet. These use 1.6 gallons of water per flush vs. 3.5 gallons or more.
  • Install low-flow aerators and showerheads.
  • Collect water with a bucket while waiting for the shower water to heat up and use it later for other purposes.
  • Do not leave water running when shaving or brushing your teeth.
  • Do not leave water running when rinsing dishes.
  • Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods.
  • Do laundry and dishes during off-peak energy hours. Summer peak energy hours are from noon to 6:00 p.m.

(Source: U.S. Department of Energy:  Water Heating)

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