Winter 2011 Energy & Cost Savings Tips
Save Energy This Winter
11 Ways to Cut Energy Costs in 2011
1. Turn down the dial.
Set your thermostat to 68 degrees. With each degree you lower, you can save 2-5% on heating costs. Layer warm weather clothing while at home and you won’t even notice the difference. At night or when leaving the home for an extended period of time, lower the thermostat to 55-60 degrees. An automatic thermostat will make this even easier! Just program the temperatures based on your daily schedule. Doing this will knock off 5-20% on your heating bill.
2. Don’t overreact to a cold home.
When you come home after a day of work to a frigid home, or are home in the middle of the day when your thermostat is programmed to 55, don’t overreact and crank the heat up to 75. You only need to heat to 68 degrees and setting the thermostat to 75 won’t heat the home any faster than if it’s set to 68. If you are home before the furnace has turned on, you can simply override your thermostat to 68. Be patient and throw on a sweater. You may not realize when the thermostat reaches 68, and before you know it you’ve been heating your house at 7 degrees higher than you need – or want – to pay for!
3. A clean furnace is an efficient furnace.
Replace or clean furnace filters once a month. Dirty filters restrict air flow and increase energy use.
4. Hot water can still be hot and save you money!
Set your water heater to the normal setting or 120 degrees. You can save up to 11% on heating costs!
5. Go green with ENERGY STAR®.
Consider replacing old gas appliances with ENERGY STAR® qualified products. If your appliances are more than 12 years old, you should consider the upgrade. The Consumer Energy Center recommends replacing your old gas appliances with ENERGY STAR® qualified products. Gas water heaters are labeled with an EF number the higher the EF, the more energy efficient the appliance will be.
6. Beat the cold weather dryness.
Use a humidifier to add moisture to the dry winter air in your home. Moister air feels warmer, so by using a humidifier, you will be more comfortable in your home even when the thermostat is set to a lower temperature.
7. If you don’t use it, don’t heat it.
Close off unused rooms such as spare bedrooms. When the room is not in use, close the floor or wall registers and keep the doors closed. If you have guests coming to visit, you can re-open everything and the room will warm up in just a couple hours.
8. Let the sunshine in.
Open south or east facing window curtains and blinds in the morning and during the day to take advantage of sunny days. At night, close window coverings to keep the heat in.
9. Let your radiators and heating vents do their job.
Don’t block your radiators or vents with furniture or draperies. Keep them free of dirt and dust and position your furniture so the heat can fill the room.
10. Cold water can do it better.
Cold water does more for your disposal. Run cold water when you are using your garbage disposal and it will work even better. Hot water uses energy to warm the water. Cold water saves energy, plus it solidifies grease, moving it more easily through the garbage disposal and pipes.
11. Cook small.
Prepare meals with small appliances rather than firing up the range. A microwave, toaster oven, electric skillet and slow cooker use much less energy than the range. Plus, the smaller appliances heat up much quicker. You can reduce cooking energy by as much as 80% when using your microwave for small portions. So when you’re preparing smaller recipes or just need a quick warm-up, the smaller appliances are perfect!
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