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Energy Saving Tips
Quick Tip: Most newer water heaters are well-insulated. However, if the side of your water heater feels warm near the top, you can cut heat loss by installing a water heater insulation blanket. Make sure to use the appropriate type blanket for your water heater, whether it's electric, gas or oil.

In the Kitchen
As your mother always told you, don't leave the refrigerator door open. Every time it's opened, up to 30 percent of the cooled air can escape. The same rule holds for the oven, too.
Clean the burner pans on your stove. When clean, they will reflect heat back up to pots and pans.
Don't peek! You lose heat every time you open the door or lift the lid.
Keep conventional oven-preheating time to a minimum. Only preheat if you are baking bread or pastries.
Keep racks clear. Foil on oven shelves blocks heat and costs money.
Keep the inside surface of your microwave clean. It will cook your food more efficiently.
Remember: Always take care when cooking. It's the number-one cause of home fires in the United States.
Use glass or ceramic pans in ovens. They heat faster than metal pans - that's why brownie recipes call for 350 degrees, but 325 degrees for a glass pan.
Use lids. They help the food cook more quickly by keeping the steam in the pot or pan.
Use the smallest pots and pans possible. It takes less energy to heat them.
Use toaster ovens, crockpots, and microwaves. When you are cooking small to medium-sized meals, they use less energy than the stove or oven.
Use your oven's self-cleaning feature immediately after cooking. At this time the oven is still hot and will reduce a lengthy warm-up time.
Vacuum the refrigerator coils to keep the compressor running efficiently. The coils are on the backside of the refrigerator and should be vacuumed or cleaned twice a year.
Dishwashing
Air-dry dishes. If your dishwasher has an air-dry feature, use it to save energy.
And if you wash by hand... Rinse dishes in groups rather than one at a time. Don't leave the water running.
Fill dishwasher with detergent right before running. Dry detergent may cake, while liquid detergent can leak.
Fill the dishwasher according to the manufacturer's instructions. This will allow the flow of water to properly clean the dishes.
Use energy-saving cycles whenever possible.
Use water-temperature boosting feature. If your dishwasher has a booster heater, then you also can lower the temperature on your water heater. It takes less energy for the booster heater to heat the water needed to wash the dishes at 140 degrees than it takes to keep all the water in the water heater at 140 degrees. Check the dishwasher's manual for the recommended minimum water temperature.
When washing dishes, wash only full loads. It costs exactly the same to wash one dish as a whole load when using the dishwasher.
Your Refrigerator
Buying a new refrigerator? Get an Energy STAR© model. Replacing a refrigerator bought in 1990 with a new Energy STAR© model would save enough energy to light the average household for over four and a half months.
Check refrigerator temperatures. You're losing money if they're lower than 37-40 degrees for fresh food and 0-5 degrees in your freezer. To check the temperature, put on thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator and another between packages in the freezer. Read them after 24 hours.
Check the refrigerator door seals. Close the refrigerator on a piece of paper that is half in and out of the refrigerator. If you can remove the paper easily without opening the door, you may need to adjust the door latch or replace the seals.
Cover and wrap food. Uncovered foods and liquids release moisture and drive up electricity costs.
Defrost manual - defrost refrigerators. Frost makes these modes less efficient - and helps spoil food.
Don't overload the refrigerator or freezer. The cold air needs to circulate freely to keep foods at the proper temperature.
Don't worry about placing hot leftovers in the refrigerator. It won't affect energy use significantly, and cooling food to room temperature first can increase the chance of food-borne illnesses. Be sure to cover the food when placing it inside to cool.
Have a second, older refrigerator? Unplug it! It can cost about $130 a year to keep it plugged in. And always remove the door when you unplug the refrigerator so that children cannot accidentally be caught inside.
Make sure the refrigerator is level, so the door automatically swings shut instead of open. If the floor isn't level, use shims to prop up the front of the refrigerator.
In the Laundry Room
Buy Energy STAR© washers and dryers. Qualified washing machines use about half the water and electricity of standard washers.
Check our outside dryer exhaust ven Make sure it opens and closes freely. If it doesn't close tightly, outside air is getting into your house through the dryer and you will need to replace the exhaust vent.
Clean the lint filter after every load. A clogged lint screen can make your dryer use up to 30 percent more energy - and it can be a fire hazard.
Dry clothes outside of the dryer. Remove clothes from the dryer while they're still damp and hang them up. This will save energy, prevent static and reduce wrinkles and shrinkage. In good weather, sunlight is free!
Dry one load of clothes immediately after another. This will minimize heat loss, reducing warm-up and drying times.
If available, use the moisture sensor feature on your dryer. This way, you won't over-dry your clothes.
Wash and dry only full loads. The machine uses about the same amount of water whether you wash a full load or just one item.
Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot. Hot water only needs to be used for very dirty loads.
Conserve Water
Install a water-saving showerhead. They use one-third to one-half the water that regular showerheads use.
Install faucet aerators. They will reduce the amount of water released
Listen for running toilets. A running toilet can use as much as 4,000 gallons per day!
Repair leaky water faucets. Thirty drops of water a minute can waste as much as 50 gallons a month.
Take short showers. They use less hot water than a bath.
Turn the water heater thermostat down to 120 degrees. That saves energy and prevents minor burns.
Heating Your Home
Avoid using unvented gas space heaters. If you do use one, always keep the doors open to the rest of the house. This will help keep dangerous pollutants from building up.
Check if cold air is getting into your home. If your home is drafty, you may need additional insulation. Contact your local weatherization program to apply for weatherization assistance.
Clear the area around your furnace. This lessens the chance of fire and improves air flow.
Close storm doors. Seal air leaks by caulking and weather-stripping doors.
Curb fireplace costs and hazards. Call a professional chimney sweep to perform your annual fireplace inspection.
Have a professional tune-up and inspect your furnace. An oil-burning furnace should be checked once a year and a gas-burning furnace every two or three years. This can save you up to 10% on your heating costs.
If you have a warm-air furnace or heat pump, check the filter each month. Clean or replace the filters as needed.
If you have hot water or steam heat, check the water levels. A furnace dealer can tell you how to add more water. Ask the dealer for more tips to make your system work better.
Install a programmable thermostat. Make sure it is programmed to automatically turn down the heating or cooling when you are not home and when you're sleeping.
Install storm windows. And remember to put them down once winter begins. They pay for themselves by keeping cold air out and preventing moisture from collecting on the windows.
Make sure heat can get into the room. Keep furniture and drapes from blocking radiators, heating registers, and return vents.
Never use the stove to heat your home! It is expensive and very dangerous.
Place space heaters in an open area. They should be placed on a level, hard, non-flammable surgace so air can circulate around them. Keep them at least three feet away from flammable materials.
Repair windows. Even a crack drives fuel bills up. got a loose window? Install weather stripping. If helps keep cold air out of the house.
Turn off the space heater when you leave the room or go to sleep. Do not place a space heater near anyone sleeping.
Turn your thermostat down five degrees. Each degree saves about 2% on your heating bill. So that's about $50 on a $500 heating bill. If you install an automatic thermostat, it will do the work for you.
Use a space heater that has been tested as having the latest safety standards. These standards have recently been updated to ensure greater security and safety.
Use drapes. Where windows face the sun, keep the drapes open in the day, but close all the drapes at night. Keeping the drapes closed will reduce drafts and you'll reduce heating costs.
Cooling Your Home
Buy an Energy STAR© air conditioner. It can save you up to 10% over one that doesn't have the label. However, have an air conditioning technician or energy auditor determine the right size using for the space.
Clean your filters. Check furnace and air filters monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer. Clean or replace them as needed.
Close shades and windows during the day. At night, open windows opposite one another for cross-ventilation.
Cover your waterbed. It may use as much electricity as your refrigerator. To save more than 30% of that cost, make the bed routinely and cover it with a comforter.
Install a programmable thermostat. Make sure it is programmed to automatically turn down the heating or cooling when you are not home and when you're sleeping.
Set thermostat at 78 degrees of higher with ceiling fans. You save 3-5% on your air conditioning cost for each degree you raise the thermostat.
Use ceiling fans. They make people feel about four-degrees cooler than the actual temperature.
Use fans. At night they help rid the house of the heat from the daytime sun.
Use the Automatic Fan settings. This helps maintain the optimum temperature in your home.
Tips to Teach Your Children
Check for problems mom and dad haven't seen. Such as dripping faucets. It takes energy to heat the water.
Cold in the house? Don't turn up the thermostat. Try wearing a sweater or sweatshirt.
Decide what you want from the refrigerator before opening the door. Then close the door immediately afterwards.
Share rides with friends to after-school activities.
Take short showers. They use less hot water than a bath.
Turn off the lights whenever you leave your bedroom and the bathroom.
Turn off the radio, TV, computer, and video games when you stop using them.
CFL & LED Lightbulbs
Install CFL or LED bulbs in hard-to-reach areas, such as hallways, closets, vaulted ceilings, etc. You won't have to climb a ladder again for years!
Keep bulbs clean and dust-free. A layer of dust or grime can cut light output by as much as 25%.
Most CFL and LED bulbs are rated for outdoor use, but read the package carefully to make sure. CFL and LED bulbs can be used with times, motion detectors, photocells and occupancy sensors. If you need to use a dimmer switch, look for a bulb designed specifically for dimming.
Replace halogen torchieres with Energy STAR© labeled compact fluorescnet torchieres. They're cheaper to operate and safer to use.
Stock up on CFL and LED bulbs during Nation Energy Month, which occurs annually each October. Many stores will advertise energy efficient bulbs at great sale prices.
Switch your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. With an incandescent bulb, 90% of the energy used is wasted as heat, and only 10% is converted to light.

CFL and LED bulbs use a fraction as much electricity and last more than ten times longer than incandescent bulbs, which can be especially useful in hard-to-reach fixtures.

The EPA estimates that a typical household would save $80 each year by switching to CFLs throughout the house.
The next time you need to buy light bulbs for your home, take a moment to look at the variety of CFL or LED bulbs available - your electric bill will thank you for it!.

Two significant advantages
  • CFLs use 75 percent less energy to produce the same amount of light. An 18-watt CFL can replace a 100-watt incandescent.
  • They last ten times longer. The life of a CFL is up to 10,000 per bulb, compared to less than 1,000 hours for an incandescent.
Compact fluorescent bulbs can be more expensive to purchase ($3-$10 per bulb), but keep in mind that they can pay for themselves in energy savings in about two years - and they'll last for two more years!

For example, if you replace one 60-watt incandescent with a 15-watt fluorescent and use it six hours a day, you could see an energy savings of more than $40 over the four-year life of the bulb.

You'll also save on the cost of purchasing at least eight incandescent bulbs during that time, and numerous trips to the store - and that's just one fixture!

Making the switch
A general rule when buying CFLs is to choose a wattage that's about one-third of what you usually buy. The table below shows some typical wattage conversions:
  • 25-watt incandescent = 7-watt compact fluorescent
  • 40-watt incandescent = 11-watt compact fluorescent
  • 60-watt incandescent = 15-watt compact fluorescent
  • 75+-watt incandescent = 18-watt compact fluorescent
If you're worried about buzzing and flickering problems common with fluorescent tube lights, worry no more - modern compact fluorescent bulbs use electronic ballasts that eliminate those annoyances.

CFL and LED bulbs are available in a large variety of shapes, sizes. colors, and wattages, so you should have no problems finding bulbs to fit any fixture in your home. If you have a unique or unusually-shaped lamp or fixture, take the existing bulb along to the store to compare sizes.
Turn off the lights when you are not using them. One 100-watt bulb left on all night costs about $25 over twelve months.
 
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