Energy Saving Tips to Use Throughout the Year
Turn off machines when you leave a room (examples include TV’s,
computers, radios, stereos, video games, VCR’s, and DVD players).
- Don’t put furniture and other things in front of heating and air conditioning vents.
- Keep doors and windows closed when heat or air conditioning is on.
- Put in a programmable thermostat which will keep your house at the right temperature day and night. Programmable thermostats can reduce cooling and heating bills up to 10% because they lower the heat or raise the air conditioning when you are not at home.
- Check how much electricity your water heater uses. If it uses more than other models of water heaters, replace it with a more efficient one.
- Put insulation around the pipes going in and out of your water heater. If you have an older water heater, put an insulated blanket around it.
- If you will be out of town for more than a couple days, turn off your water heater.
- About once a year, drain one gallon of water from the faucet at the bottom of your water heater. This gets rid of the sediment in the water which reduces the energy efficiency of your water heater.
- Change your furnace filter at least once a year or even more. Filters get clogged up with dust and dirt that circulate in a house. This means that air has a more difficult time passing through the filter, and then your furnace has to work a lot harder in order to heat the house.
- Take a look at the insulation in your attic. Heat rises, which means that warm air rises into your attic. If you don’t have good enough insulation, heat will be wasted. Insulation should be 6 inches to 1 foot thick.
- Close doors and vents in rooms you are not using.
- Hold a ribbon or feather up to windows and doors to see if there are any drafts. If there are, put in weather stripping or caulking to keep the outside air out and to keep the air conditioning or heating in.
- Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth and take shorter showers. This will not only save water, but it will also save the electricity that it takes to pump and heat the water.
- Make use of daylight hours and do not turn on lights and lamps.
- Use one large light bulb instead of a few small ones. One 100-watt light bulb uses less energy and gives off more light than two 60-watt bulbs.
- Use fluorescent light bulbs because they use 75% less energy and last longer than incandescent light bulbs.
- Use light bulbs that are low in wattage in areas of your house where you don’t need bright light.
- Make sure that outdoor lighting is turned off during the day. Use motion-detectors lights or timer switches.
- Decide what you want from the refrigerator or freezer before you open them so you don’t waste electricity by standing there looking inside and keeping the door open.
- Vacuum the coils of your refrigerator every few months in order to lower your energy bill and to keep the condenser working better.
- Before putting hot foods into the refrigerator, cool them to room temperature (unless the recipe tells you not to do this).
- Cook several food dishes in the oven at the same time.
- Keep the oven door closed until the food is done cooking.
- Defrost food before you bake or microwave it. This uses 1/3 less energy than if you baked food that was still frozen.
- Wash full loads of clothing instead of smaller ones. Use the coolest water possible for washing and rinsing the clothes.
- Clean the lint filter of your dryer after every load.
- Dry full loads of clothes.
- Dry one load right after another because this uses less energy since the dryer is already hot.
- Be sure to stop the dryer as soon as the clothes are dry.
- Use ceiling fans or windows fans instead of air conditioning. Ceiling and window fans use much less electricity.
- Only use air conditioning when it is really hot outside.
- Turn off your air conditioning if you will be gone from home for a long time.
- Clean or replace your air conditioning filters every month (in both central and window air conditioners).
- Turn the thermostat up a few degrees when you have the air conditioning on. 74 degrees is very comfortable and you are saving up to 5% on your electric bills for each degree of temperature change.
- Plant trees in your yard because they help shade your house in the summer and keep your house cooler.
- If you can, shade your air conditioning unit. If your unit is in the bright sun, it will use up to 5% more energy than if it was in the shade
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“For Parents: How to Speak With Your Kids About Saving Energy.” U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. 7 February 2007 <http://www1.eere.energy.gov/kids/printable_version/
“How You Can Save Energy.” tvakids.com 7 February 2007 <http://www.tvakids.com/electricity/conservation.htm>.
Orchard, Rick. “Teach Your Children Well About Energy.” Toronto Star 12/04/2003: L04. Searchasaurus. EBSCOhost. 7 February 2007 <http://web.ebscohost.com/>.
“Sam and Joey.” U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. 7 February 2007 <http://www1.eere.energy.gov/
“Vacuuming the Refrigerator With the Drapes Closed.” Energy Right.
7 February 2007 <http://www.energyright.com/ideas.htm>.
Permission to use all of the photographs on this page is granted under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License or images are in the public domain from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page> (March, 2007).
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