Tuesday, September 11, 2007

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Here are some energy savings tips, please pass on to others:

1. Cook with small appliances. Cook with your toaster oven, electric skillet, popcorn popper and slow cooker for specialized jobs, rather than the range, since these small appliances use less energy.
2. Use the microwave instead. The advantage of microwave ovens is shorter cooking times — and shorter cooking times save energy.
3. Clean or replace air filters. Replace filters on exhaust hoods, humidifiers, vacuums, etc. Clogged filters impair performance and cause the units to run longer.

Refrigerators and Freezers
5. Purchase an Energy Star® model. Energy Star refrigerators and freezers can save you hundreds of dollars on your electric bill over the average 17-year life of the appliance.
6. Select the right size. Determine your household's needs and then make a purchase. A unit that is too small will be overcrowded, one that is too large will waste energy.
7. Don't set the temperature colder-than-necessary. Set the refrigerator temperature between 36 F and 42 F. Set the freezer control so the temperature is between –5 and +6 F.
8. Clean the unit. Clean the dust off the condenser coils, fins and evaporator pan and motor once or twice a year – a clean unit runs more efficiently. Unplug the unit and clean with a vacuum cleaner or long-handled brush.
9. Defrost a manual-defrost unit regularly. Frost makes your unit work harder and wastes energy. Don't allow more than one-quarter inch of frost to build up.
10. A second refrigerator wastes energy. You can spend up to $120 in electricity a year using a second refrigerator or freezer. If you want to use a second refrigerator/freezer only during holidays and for special occasions, turn it on one to two days before you need it.
11. Stay away from direct heat. Place refrigerator/freezer away from direct sunlight and other heat sources such as ovens or ranges. Heat will cause the refrigerator to use more energy.
12. Do not place unit in unheated space. Don't place your refrigerator or automatic defrost freezer in a garage, porch or other unheated space. If the temperature drops below 60† F, the compressor may stop running, causing the temperature inside the freezer compartment to rise. Stored food could spoil.
13. Check the tightness of the seals. The refrigerator and freezer doors should seal tightly. Try sliding a dollar bill through the closed door — if you can move the bill, the seal is not tight enough.

14. Run full loads. Always wait until you have a full load before running your dishwasher and be sure to load it according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
15. Use short cycles. Select the shortest cycle that will properly clean your dirty dishes.
16. Skip rinsing the dishes. Rinsing dishes before loading them into the dishwasher wastes energy. If you must rinse, use cold water.
17. Clean the filter. If your dishwasher has a filter screen, clean it regularly.

Ranges & Oven
18. Lower the heat. Begin cooking on a higher heat setting until liquid begins to boil. Then, lower the temperature and simmer the food until fully cooked. A fast boil doesn't cook faster than a slow boil, but it does waste energy.
19. Don't peek in the oven. Resist the uncontrollable urge to open the oven door while baking. Every time you peek, the temperature will drop 25 F. Then it will take additional energy to bring the oven temperature back up to the original cooking temperature.
20. Use retained heat. Turn off the cook top or the oven a few minutes before the food has completed cooking — retained heat will finish the job.
21. Select the correct pan size. Your pan size should match the surface heating unit.
22. Put a lid on it. Cook food and boil water in a covered container whenever possible.
23. Make sure oven seals tightly. Check the seal on your oven door to make sure it is tight. Even a small gap is enough to allow some of the oven's heat to escape.
24. Check oven temperature. Test the temperature of your oven to be sure that the temperature setting matches the actual temperature in the oven.

Washers & Dryers
25. Adjust the water-level. Purchase and use a washer that allows you to control the load's water-level. You can save energy by using less hot water for small loads.
26. Run full loads. Don't waste energy by running partial loads in both your washer and dryer.
27. Wash in warm or cold water. Use a hot water wash only when the greatest cleaning is needed.
28. Rinse in cold water. The temperature of the rinse water has no effect on cleaning.
29. Place washer close to the water heater. The hot water doesn't have to travel as far to reach the washer. The water loses heat as it flows through the pipes. Also be sure to insulate the pipes running to your washer.
30. Don't over dry clothes. Over drying laundry uses more energy than is needed and it is hard on fabrics.
31. Clean the lint filter. After each load, clean the filter to keep the dryer running efficiently.

Water Heaters and Water Usage
32. Purchase an energy-efficient model. Although it may cost more money initially, it may be the best buy in the long run because it will cost less to operate.
33. Purchase the correct size. Consider the hot water needs of your family. If your water heater is too large, you will waste energy; if it is too small, you will likely run out of hot water.
34. Have contractor install your water heater near the kitchen. The kitchen is the place where you use the hottest water. This way, the hot water won't have to travel as far in the piping system, where it loses some of its heat.
35. Insulate water pipes. Use half-inch foam or pipe tape for insulation wherever pipes are exposed. On cold water pipes, insulate four to five feet nearest to the water heater. Pipe insulation can save you up to $25 annually.
36. Set temperature to 120 F. If you have an electric water heater, you'll have to remove the cover plate of the thermostat to adjust the temperature. For safety reasons, remember to turn off the water heater at the circuit breaker/fuse before changing the temperature.
37. Repair dripping faucets promptly. If the faucet leaks hot water, you're wasting the water and the energy used to heat it. (One drop a second can waste up to 48 gallons a week!)
38. Install a heat loop or in-line trap. If you're adding a new water heater to your home, consider having a heat loop or in-line trap installed. These mechanisms are inexpensive to install and keep hot water in the insulated tank rather than in the piping system.
39. Reduce deposits and build-ups. Drain a bucket of water from the bottom of the water heater once or twice a year to reduce mineral deposits and sediment build-up, which saves energy. Don't drain the water heater, though, if you've used it for a year or more and have never drained it. The faucet may have corroded shut and could break if you force it open. Before draining the water from an electric water heater, turn off the water heater at the circuit breaker/fuse.
40. Install energy-savers. Use low-flow showerheads in all showers in your house, as well as faucet aerators on all faucets, to save energy.
41. Install a water softener. Install a water softener to prevent mineral deposits from coating the elements, if you have hard water. This will save both energy and money, and will help prolong the life of your water heater.

Humidifiers & Dehumidifiers
42. Purchase an Energy Star dehumidifier. Energy Star qualified dehumidifiers will use 10 percent to 20 percent less energy than a conventional model and offer the same features as conventional models – effective moisture removal, quiet operation and durability.
43. Humidity makes you feel warmer. Use a humidifier in the colder months. With the proper humidity level, you'll be able to turn your thermostat down to a lower temperature, save energy and still feel comfortable.
44. Dehumidifiers remove moisture. Use a dehumidifier in the warm, humid months to remove moisture from the air. A dehumidifier works best when air can circulate freely through it. Place it away from walls and bulky furniture.
45. Place dehumidifier in the area with the highest humidity. For safety reasons, don't place it directly in water or near your sump pump.
46. Check for frost build-up. If your unit is running in temperatures less than 70† F, check it occasionally to see if frost is building up on the coils. If so, turn the unit off until the frost melts and the room is warmer.
47. Clean the unit. Dust or vacuum the dehumidifier at least once a year before you plug it in. If your unit is difficult to clean, check the owner's manual.

48. Use Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs. Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs last longer and use up to 75 percent less energy than a standard light bulb. You could cut your electric bill by $60 per year if you replaced the standard bulbs in your five most frequently used light fixtures with Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs.
49. Plan your lighting. Plan within a room to provide general background lighting and supplementary task lighting. Not every room needs the same amount of general light.
50. Use a single, higher wattage bulb. Instead of using several lower-wattage bulbs, use these. Be sure not to exceed the manufacturer's recommended wattage for the fixture.
51. Control outdoor lighting. To assure only dusk-to-dawn operation of your outdoor lights, make sure your fixtures are controlled by a photocell or a timer.
52. Don't waste lights. Turn off lights when not in use, even for short periods of time. (You might have to remind your kids more than once.)
53. Install a timer on indoor lights. Use timers to turn lights on and off.
54. Avoid long-life incandescent light bulbs. They are the least efficient of the incandescent bulbs and waste energy.
55. Keep bulbs and fixtures clean. Dirt and dust reduce light output and efficiency. (Hint: Don't clean bulbs and fixtures when they're hot and plugged in.)
56. Use light colors. On walls, ceilings and floors use light colors to reduce light costs. Light-colored rooms reflect more light so you can use lower-wattage bulbs.
57. Position your lights properly. A good rule of thumb is to illuminate the entire activity area without creating distracting glares or shadows. Therefore, position your light source closer to the work area.
58. Adjust the light level. Use dimmer controls, high/low switches or 3-way bulbs to adjust the level of light to exactly what you need.

Central Air Conditioners
59. Purchase an energy-efficient model. Select an energy-efficient central air conditioner by looking at the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating. Choose a model with a SEER rating of 11 or higher (the higher the rating, the more efficient the unit).
60. Hire professionals. Seek professional help in determining the size of the cooling equipment needed for your home. A contractor should measure your home to determine the size needed.
61. Replace coils. Consider changing the indoor and outdoor compressor coils when replacing an older central air conditioner to maximize efficiency.
62. Keep thermostat clear of heat. Don't position heat-producing devices such as lamps and TVs under your central air conditioner's wall-mounted thermostat. Heat rising from the device could cause the thermostat to read a temperature higher than the true room temperature and lead to overcooling of the entire house.
63. Get unit tuned-up. Have your central air conditioner tuned up by a contractor or service technician every other year. This will prevent failures in the middle of the peak cooling season and help the unit operating more efficiently.
64. Clean & replace filter. Clean the filter monthly and replace it as needed. Your central AC uses the same filter as your furnace. Keep condenser clear — remove and keep leaves, grass and other debris cleared away from the outside condenser.
65. Change your thermostat settings. In the summer, turn up the temperature. Set your thermostat to 76† F when at home and higher when you are away from home. This can save 10 percent or more on your cooling costs every summer.
66. Keep out the sun. Close blinds, shades and drapes on the sunny side of your home during the day.
67. Cool only the rooms you use. Close unused rooms to keep conditioned air in areas where it is most needed.
68. Don't make more heat. Delay chores that produce heat and moisture until the cooler parts of the day or evening. Limit dishwashing, laundering, and cooking on hot, humid days. These activities make your room more uncomfortable and require your AC to work harder.
69. Use the microwave. Cook using your microwave oven rather than your standard oven or range. It allows less heat and humidity in the house.
70. Turn off the lights. Don't leave lights or appliance on if you don't need them. They produce heat and waste electricity.
71. Keep vents clear. Remove and keep furniture and drapes away from air vents.
72. Ventilate your attic. Remove and reduce heat build-up in your attic by having proper ventilation.
73. Keep unit out of the sun. Locate the condenser or outdoor unit of your central AC away from the sun, avoiding the south and west side of the house.
74. Have contractor install unit away from bedrooms. Since the compressor can be noisy, have contractor install it away from bedroom windows, if possible.

Room Air Conditioners
75. Purchase an Energy Star model. Energy Star qualified room air conditioners use at least 10 percent less energy than conventional models.
76. Use a timer. Consider the use of a plug-in timer to control the operation of your room air conditioner, especially if you tend to forget to turn off the unit when you leave the house. A timer is helpful when you want the unit to start cooling just before you come home from work.
77. Purchase a unit with varying fan speeds. Select a room air conditioner with different fan speeds. This will allow faster cooling when needed and quieter, more efficient operation when it's not.
78. Keep unit centrally located. Install your room air conditioner in the window or area of the wall that is nearest to the middle of the space being cooled to allow better air circulation.
79. Seal the unit. Once a room air conditioner is in place, seal the space around it with rope caulk or some other sealant so warm outside air can't leak in.
80. Don't set thermostat at high initially. When you first turn on your room air conditioner, set the thermostat at normal or medium. Setting it any colder won't cool the room more quickly.
81. Stay out of the sun. Locate your room air conditioner on the shady side of your home. If will operate more efficiently in a cooler location.
82. Close fresh air vent. Make sure the fresh air vent is closed when the room air conditioner is operating so you aren't cooling outside air. Open the vent when the outside air is cooler to let in fresh air.
83. Remove unit at end of cooling season. Take your room air conditioner out of the window when the cooling season is over. If you must leave the unit in place, cover the outside of the unit with a weatherproof cover and fill any cracks around the unit with removable caulk.

84. Use fans with your AC. Fans help you reduce energy costs by circulating the cool air from your air conditioner.
85. Use ceiling fans for air circulation. In hot weather, set the direction of the ceiling fan to blow air down. The air moving across your skin creates a cooling effect allowing you to raise the temperature on your thermostat and still feel cool. In cold weather, set the fan to blow up toward the ceiling. This will push the warm air away from the ceiling and evenly distribute the heat in the room.
86. Use a whole-house fan. These fans are usually mounted in the attic access and are used to ventilate your entire home. Be sure to open some windows before turning on a whole-house fan.
87. Oscillate air from side to side. When placed on a table or the floor, oscillating fans work best when set to turn from side to side rather than set to blow straight ahead.
88. Maintain your fan. Check the manufacturer's recommendations for care and maintenance of your fan. This will help control the operating costs.

Home Heating
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89. Purchase an energy-efficient furnace. Select an energy-efficient furnace model by looking for an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating of 90 percent or greater.
90. Maintain the furnace. Clean your furnace filters monthly or replace if necessary.
91. Use insulation in the attic and walls. Insulate your attic to an R-value of 38 for a gas-heated home and 50 for an electrically heated home; your walls to an R-value of 19; and your sill box (upper third of your basement walls) to an R-value of 10.
92. Insulate around windows and doors. Weather-strip and/or caulk all areas of noticeable leaks around windows and doors.
93. Change your thermostat settings. In the winter, lower the temperature to 60F during the evening hours when you are sleeping and when you are gone. Set the thermostat to 68† F when you are at home. This can save 10 percent or more on your heating bills every winter.
94. Turn down the thermostat when away. If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, turn your thermostat down to save energy, but never lower than 40 F. If you have delicate houseplants, keep the setting at 50 F or higher.
95. Let the sun in. Keep window shades and drapes open during the winter months to let in the radiant heat of the sun. The sun's energy can have a noticeable effect on the temperature in your home, especially from windows that face the south and west. And you guessed it…do the opposite in the summer!
96. Warm with a space heater. A portable space heater can be a way to heat a single room without using your furnace to heat the whole house. Always follow the manufacturer's safety instructions when operating space heaters.
97. Use fireplace sparingly. Fireplaces are very inefficient. Close the flue to eliminate drafts, when not in use.
98. Purchase efficient windows. When installing new windows select, at a minimum, double-paned (double-glazed) thermal windows. With existing single paned windows, make sure you use storm windows during the winter months.

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