Energy conservation

From ArticleWorld


Making homes more energy-efficient is a way to save on your energy bills. The investment of an hour with a caulking gun and some extra insulation will pay off for you, as a homeowner.

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Some easy ways to save

  • Add weatherstripping and caulking to doors and windows. As much as 30 to 40 percent of a home's energy load is attributed to outside air penetrating the house.
    • Add weatherstripping tapes that adhere directly to door or window frames for a tight seal.
    • Fit foam or rubber weatherstripping into the gaps around your doors or windows.
    • Install rubber or foam bottom seals under doors.
    • Add a door sweep to seal the gap at the bottom of a door from drafts.
  • Change disposable air filters in your furnace two or three times a year.
  • Have your furnace inspected by a professional at least once a year.
  • Check for appropriate insulation around the pipes, walls, attic and floor. Choose the right R-value, which is a measure of insulating power. Higher R-values mean greater insulating power, which provides greater household energy savings and cost savings. Look for R-values on insulation packaging or talk to a Qualified Gas Contractor.
  • Turn down the water heater's thermostat setting to about 120 degrees and switch to "vacation" setting when you'll be away for a few days.
    • When washing clothes, use warm or cold water - not hot - and rinse with cold water.
    • Install a low flow showerhead. Showers use less hot water than baths.
  • Use a programmable thermostat. Set at 68° during the day, 65° at night and 55° when no one is home.
  • Close off unoccupied rooms and close heating vents.
  • Use exterior doors farthest from the thermostat.
  • Use the sunlight to warm rooms. Close drapes and blinds at night to retain heat.
  • Wear more layers of clothing and warmer, insulated clothing while indoors.
  • Put extra blankets or a down comforter on the bed.
  • Make sure that dishwashers, washing machines and dryers are fully loaded before running.
  • When it's time to replace appliances, choose those with high-energy efficiency ratings.
  • Install storm or thermal windows and doors.

Energy Saving Tips

Follow these tips to help reduce your energy use:

Water Heater

  • Lower the temperature setting on your water heater to 120 degrees. Check you owner's manual if you have a dishwasher. Certain model dishwashers require a higher temperature to clean effectively.
  • Fix leaky faucets.
  • Install low volume showerheads and faucets if you have an older home. Newer homes are required to have these restricted flow devices as part of the building code.
  • Install a water heater insulation wrap around the sides of the water heater. Never put insulation on the top of the heater or near the bottom.
  • Use the proper water level setting on your clothes washer for the size load of clothes. This helps save on your water bill too.

Clothes Dryer

  • Separate heavier clothes (towels, heavy cottons) from the lightweight fabrics (synthetics) for more efficient
  • Only do full loads, but be sure not to overload the dryer. Select the proper setting and time for the type and size load.
  • Clean the lint filter before every load. Refer to your owner's manual.
  • Don't add wet clothes during the drying cycle.
  • Don't over dry clothes. Use the automatic moisture control if your dryer has one, or select the appropriate amount of time on the automatic timer.
  • Be sure the outside vent is free of any obstructions and the vent cover fully opens when the dryer is in use.

Cooking

  • Cover pots and pans with lids when cooking.
  • Cook food at high heat to bring to temperature then reduce to complete cooking.
  • Adjust the flame to fit the bottom of the pot or pan. Turning up the flame beyond the bottom only wastes energy.
  • Keep burner surfaces clean.

Heating

  • Add insulation to the attic.
  • Lower the thermostat when no one is home. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature each day.
  • Clean or replace all filters at least once per month.
  • Have the system inspected and maintained regularly.
  • Keep all heating abd return vents free of all obstructions for proper air flow.