Energy Tips and advice on how to save money on Electricity & Gas


With energy costs soaring, many homeowners are looking for ways to save on energy costs to stretch their hard-earned dollars a little further. Let's take a look at a few energy saving tips.


General Household Electricity Saving Tips

1. Put your washer on the warm or cold setting, rather than hot. Unless your clothes are heavily soiled, warm or cold water will work just fine and save money.

2. Turn down the temperature on your refrigerator. Your fridge can account for about 20 percent of your electricity usage. Make sure that the energy saver switch is on. You might also examine the gaskets surrounding the doors to ensure they are tightly sealed and clean.

3. Check for air leaks in your home. There are often unnoticed cracks around doors and windows that can leak heated or cooled air to the outside. One way to check for them is by slowly moving a candle or lit incense stick all around doors and windows. When the flame or smoke is disrupted, you have found an air leak. Buy some caulk or weather stripping to seal these areas.

Electricity Saving Tips for Appliances

1. Turn off electronics like the TV, stereo, radio, or VCR when you are not using them. Be aware also of "phantom loads". Some electronics use some energy, even when not being actively used. Consider unplugging these power-wasters if you don't use them that often. Many computers have power-saving features that you can use. Some allow you to automatically turn off your monitor after a specified period of inactivity, or power down your hard drive. Of course, you could just turn the entire computer off when you go to bed, if you prefer.

2. Only run your dishwasher when it is full, and use the energy saving feature if you have it. You might also allow your dishes to air dry instead of using the built-in electric dryer. Forgoing the heat in the dryer can save you about 20 percent of the electric use for your dishwasher.

3. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. Water heaters are typically set for 140 degrees F when 120 will suffice. Be sure that it is also adequately insulated to conserve energy. If it is an old model, consider replacing it with a more efficient model.

4. Look for energy efficient appliances when replacing them. If the appliance has the Energy Star label, it will likely be able to prevent pollution and save energy.

Heating and Cooling Electricity Saving Tips.

Since heating and cooling makes up almost half of the typical utility bill, it offers the most opportunity for energy savings.

1. Installing a heat pump can give you 30-40 percent saving on your heating expenses. These are good for people living in moderate climates.

2. Use a programmable thermostat. This will adjust the temperature in your home automatically, based upon your specific settings, and probably pay for itself in under one year.

3. Check the energy ratings on new furnaces. Get a high efficiency one for the most energy saving. It should end up paying for itself in 7 years or so.

4. Compare electricity rates. If you have choices in electricity providers, be sure to compare electricity rates between them.

Insulation

1. Over half of heating energy is wasted through walls, ceilings, attics, and floors that are uninsulated. Check out your insulation in these areas and replace or add to what is already present.

2. Check your HVAC duct system to ensure its connected properly, well insulated, and tightly sealed.

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