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Tips for saving energy at home

Lighting

  1. Turn off your lights when you leave a room.
  2. Replace your five most used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent bulbs to save $60 each year in energy costs.
  3. Use dimmers, timers, and motion detectors on indoor and outdoor lighting..

Appliances/Electronics

  1. Turn off or unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren't in use. Most new electronics use electricity even when switched "off." Turn computers and printers off at the power strip.
  2. Activate "sleep" features on computers and office equipment that power down when not in use for a while. Turn off equipment if they will not be used for 2 hours or more.
  3. Purchase energy efficient appliances by looking at their EnergyGuide labels. Look for the ENERGY STAR label, which means that the product is highly energy efficient.

Refrigerator/Freezer

  1. Keep the freezer coils free of dust and dirt. Every spring, vacuum underneath your refrigerator. Be sure to unplug the appliance first.
  2. Keep your refrigerator away from heat sources, such as an oven, a dishwasher and direct sunlight from a window. A 10°F increase in surrounding temperature can result in 20% higher energy consumption.
  3. If your refrigerator is over 10 years old, consider replacement with a new model. Choose top-freezer, ENERGY STAR models instead of side-by-side refrigerators, which use approximately 10 to 25% more energy.

Cooking

  1. Don't peek. Every time you open the oven door to look at the food, the oven temperature is lowered by 25°F to 75°F. Use a timer if the oven door does not have a window.
  2. Use leftover heat as a food warmer. Turn off oven immediately when finished cooking. Ovens retain heat for up to 30 minutes after they have been turned off.
  3. Use pots and pans that fit the burners. Pans that fit a burner absorb more of the energy, reducing the amount of heat that is lost.

Dishwashing

  1. Run your dishwasher after 7 p.m. Wash only full loads and use the shortest possible cycle.
  2. Avoid using the "rinse hold" setting on your dishwasher. "Rinse hold" uses three to seven gallons of hot water for each use, and heating water takes extra energy. Never use "rinse hold" for just a few dirty dishes.
  3. Scrape, don't rinse dishes before loading the dishwasher. Pre-rinsing can use up to 20 gallons of water.

Heating/Cooling

  1. Using ceiling fans and opening windows instead of using an air conditioner in the summer, and ventilate at night when practical. Keep window coverings closed on the south, east, and west windows. In winter, let the sun in.
  2. Check the furnace or air conditioner (AC) filter each month, and clean or replace it as needed. Dirty filters block air flow through your heating and cooling systems, increasing your energy bill and shortening the equipment’s life.
  3. Use a programmable thermostat to control your furnace or air conditioning system (if you must use air conditioning). It is best not to set thermostat below 65 degrees for cooling or 78 degrees for heating.

Water Heating

  1. Lower the temperature on your water heater. It should be set at “warm,” so that a thermometer held under running water reads no more than 120 degrees.
  2. Install low-flow showerheads and sink aerators to reduce hot water use.
  3. A water tank insulation wrap costs about $20 and helps hold the heat inside. Add pre-cut pipe insulation to exposed pipes going into your water heater—it is cheap and easy to install. If you’re starting with an uninsulated tank, the energy savings should pay for the improvements in just a few months.

Laundry

  1. Wash in cold water. Today's laundry detergents are made to clean clothes in cold water. The majority of energy used for washing clothes comes from heating water. Use hot water only for very dirty clothes and always use cold water for rinsing.
  2. Don't overload the washer and dryer. Your clothes may not get clean and may need to be washed again. Overloading dryers uses excess energy because items take longer to dry.
  3. Clean the lint from the clothes dryer after every load. The efficiency of the dryer goes down when lint collects over the dryer filter. Run full loads and use the moisture-sensing setting.

For more ways to save, visit the Community Environmental Council website and check out their Get Started guides: http://www.cecsb.org/get-started

 

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