GREATER ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Sense Isn't Always Common Practice
light doesn't use a whole lot of energy. But when you
add up all the lights in your home, and think about
how long they are usually on during the month, it can
really add up. In fact, lighting is about 12% of your
Let The Sun Shine In
-- Why use the lights when you can use the sun? Open
blinds and curtains during the day to take advantage
of nature's light.
Dim The Lights
-- Consider purchasing solid-state dimmer switches.
They can increase bulb life while reducing electric
consumption and cost. But don't use them with compact
fluorescent bulbs because they're not compatible.
Replace Incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent
bulbs. Compared to regular light bulbs, compact
fluorescent bulbs use 75% less energy and last ten
Motion Sensors Make Sense
-- Are you tired of asking everyone to turn off the
lights when they leave the room? If so, try replacing
light switches with motion or occupancy sensors. These
make the lights go on or off when someone enters or
leaves the room. The garage is the perfect place for
one. They're also good for exterior lighting. Your
lights will only come on when motion is detected.
Let Timers Take On The Task
-- If you forget to turn off lights, think about
buying a timer. It turns lights on and off
automatically, and helps your day-to-day home
security, too. Best of all, you can set it and forget
Save Watts Wherever You Can
-- Use watt-saving bulbs in incandescent and
fluorescent fixtures. They give off the same amount of
light as regular bulbs, but use 10% less energy. Just
remember, the higher the wattage, the more it costs to
have your lights on.
-- Photocells automatically turn on your lights when
it gets dark. Then, when it's bright enough, the
photocell turns the lights off. They're great for
outdoor or security lighting because you don't have to
remember to turn them off in the morning. The sunlight
will do it for you.
Decorate In Light Colors
-- If you plan to redecorate, think about lighter
colors. Dark colors absorb light, so you'll use more
watts to light the room.
Let The Light Through
-- Lamp shades can make a big difference. A lamp with
a light colored shade, especially one that's lined in
white, will give the best light. Tall, narrow shades
or short, dark-colored shades let through less light.
You'll probably need to turn on another light to see
properly, which means you'll use more electricity.
Keep Them Clean
-- Dirty or dusty light bulbs don't put out as much
light as clean bulbs. That's because dirt and dust
Consider Low Voltage Lighting For The
Outdoors -- If you're
planning to light up your landscaping, install low
voltage lighting whenever possible. A string of six
low voltage lights uses about 108 watts, compared to a
single 150 watt flood light.
Plan For That Vacation
-- If you're going away, you'll probably want to leave
some lights on for security reasons. If so, consider
buying timers to turn your lights on and off instead
of leaving them on 24 hours-a-day. The money you save
on lighting could easily pay for the timers.
water is one of your largest annual energy expenses. A
water heater can consume approximately 600 kilowatt
hours per month.
Replace Your Old Water Heater With A
High Efficiency Model
-- If you are in the market for a new water heater
consider buying a high efficiency model. It may cost
you a little more to buy, but it costs less to use, so
you will save over the life of the unit. Consider
replacing your old water heater with a heat pump water
heater. It can save you up to 50% on the cost of
heating your water. As a side note, be sure to secure
your water heater by fastening it to the studs in the
Set The Thermostats Properly
-- To operate most efficiently, your water heater
should be set between 120°F and 130°F. If you have a
dishwasher, you may need to increase the temperature
settings to 140°F. Refer to the owner's manual for the
proper temperature settings for your dishwasher.
Keep It Warm
-- If your water heater is located in an unconditioned
space, and does not have a water heater blanket on it,
you may want to get one. It can save as much as 9% on
your water heating costs. Before you install a blanket
check the caution label on your water heater. Some
newer models come with adequate insulation levels and
may prohibit installing a blanket. Finally, mark the
inspection plate locations on the blanket for future
Fix Those Drips
-- If you have a leaky faucet, you're pouring money
down the drain. A slow drip of hot water can waste up
to 450 gallons of water a month. Not only are you
paying to heat the water, but you are paying for the
water, and may be paying for the disposal as well. If
you have a domestic well, pumping costs may also be a
Reduce The Flow
-- Install high performance shower heads and faucet
aerators in your bathrooms and kitchen. They can cut
up to 11% of your water use, which will reduce your
energy and water bills. Also, consider taking short
showers rather than baths. A shower typically uses
less hot water than a bath (especially if you limit
your showers to five minutes or less). If you just
need a shampoo, try using the sink rather than taking
a shower. Water efficient devices are usually
available at the local hardware stores or from Salem
Use Cold Water When You Can
-- Use cold water instead of hot to wash clothes or
rinse dishes. Hot water for dishes uses about 2
kilowatt hours and 5 kilowatt hours for a load of
Twist The Tap
-- Turn the water off while you're brushing your
teeth, lathering your hands with soap, or scrubbing
Run Your Dishwasher
-- That's right... run your dishwasher. By running it
once a day (or less) you'll use about 17 gallons of
hot water each time, compared to the 10 gallons you'll
generally use each time you wash the dishes by hand.
Only wash full loads and use the energy saving
setting, which eliminates the drying cycle at a
savings of 6 cents per load. If you have an electric
water heater, use your dishwasher's booster heater.
This booster heats the water used in the dishwasher to
140°F, allowing you to reduce the temperature of your
water heater to 120°F.
have a water bed, knowing what it costs to operate can
be a real eye opener. It uses from 100 to 150 kilowatt
hours a month (depending on whether you make your bed
or not). A water bed can easily be one of the largest
energy consumers in your home. And if you have two, it
could be double trouble.
winter, your heating system is probably your biggest
energy user, accounting for between 35% and 65% of
your total monthly bill.
Don't Touch It
-- Before bedtime, turn down your thermostat for more
energy savings. If you don't want to wake up to a cold
house, let a programmable thermostat turn the heat up
an hour before you wake up. If you have a heat pump,
raising the thermostat more than 2-4°F at a time could
cause the electric heating strips to come on,
significantly increasing your heating costs.
Ovens & Ranges
budget doesn't stop at the check-out counter. Here are
some suggestions to help you save energy and money
Don't Pre-Heat If You Don't Have To
-- If you're baking breads and cakes, preheating your
oven may be necessary. But for most foods (casseroles
and broiled items) preheating simply isn't necessary.
It's an energy and money waster. Every time you open
your oven door you lose approximately 25°F of heat.
Small But Significant
-- Smaller meals can be cooked in an electric skillet,
broiler or toaster oven. They use half the energy of
their full-size electric counterparts, and won't heat
up your kitchen.
Use Your Microwave Oven
-- Your microwave requires about the same amount of
energy per hour to operate as your electric oven. But,
since it cooks food so much more quickly, it saves you
time, energy and money.
Boil Until Boiling And Not A Minute
Longer -- Once water
or other liquids reach a state of boiling, they won't
get any hotter. If you need to bring something to a
boil, turn the burner down or off when it starts to
Think Smart...Plan Your Meals
-- A meal like roast chicken, green bean casserole and
brownies can all be cooked at the same time because
they cook at the same temperature. It is easier on you
and your oven too.
Cover It Up
-- Covers and lids on your pots and pans trap steam to
help cook food faster.
Keep The Heat Inside The Oven
-- Every time you open the oven door, you lose about
25 degrees of heat. This means your food will take
longer to cook and your oven needs to work that much
harder to keep the temperature consistent.
washing machine may use up to 10 kilowatt hours per
load, and your dryer can use as much as 5 kilowatt
hours per load. This means that you could be using 15
kilowatt hours of electricity with every load of
Wash Full Loads
-- Over 70% of the cost of washing a load of clothes
is in heating the water. With an electric water heater
a load of clothes will use about 10 kilowatt hours.
Set the water levels appropriately and make every
effort to wash full loads.
Consider Energy-Efficient Models
-- If you're in the market for a new washing machine,
consider purchasing a new horizontal-axis model. The
new model uses 1/3 less water than a conventional top
loading machine so you can save as much as 6,000
gallons of water per year as well as the costs
associated with pumping and heating that water.
Don't Overwork Your Clothes
-- Most clothes need only a 10 to 15 minute wash cycle
to get clean. Over drying will make them stiff,
wrinkled and nearly impossible to iron and they'll
wear out faster too. Wash and dry for only as long as
Dry Full Loads
-- A load dried for 30 minutes can use up to 5
kilowatt hours. Since you're going to use that much
electricity, you might as well dry a full load.
Use Cold Water As Often As Possible
-- Washing in cold water will get most clothes just as
clean. Besides, they'll fade less and have fewer
wrinkles. You might even save on ironing. Save washing
in warm water for whites or hard to clean items. At
least consider rinsing in cold water.
Get The Lint Out
-- Clean your dryer's lint screen after every use.
Besides keeping your clothes looking good, a lint-free
dryer works much more efficiently.
Do It For Free
-- Use the sun to dry your clothes. It's free, and the
only energy it requires is your own energy to hang
them on the line.
Pools & Spas
have a swimming pool or spa, you'll have higher than
average energy bills. That's because pools and spas
cost a significant amount to operate. An electric spa
can use approximately 90 kilowatt hours to warm up
(from 70°F to 100°F) and almost 5 kilowatt hours per
hour to heat thereafter. Add 3 kilowatt hours per hour
for the pump motor and another 2 kilowatt hours per
hour for the pool cleaner, and costs can add
up...especially if you have both.
Use The Optimal Temperature Settings
-- A sufficient temperature for spas is 102°F or
lower. Higher temperatures can be a safety hazard as
well as costly to operate. Check on the accuracy of
your pool or spa thermostat. An inaccurate thermostat
can increase consumption needlessly.
Consider A Timer
-- A timer gives you day-to-day, automatic control of
your filter and heater reducing operating costs.
Do Not Over Filter
-- Filtering is a major cost of owning a pool or spa.
The average spa requires a minimum of one hour of
filtering a day...just enough to maintain water
clarity. An average swimming pool often requires
approximately 4 to 5 hours of filtering each day in
the summer. Generally, one complete water exchange
every 24 hours will provide adequate filtering. If you
use a pool maintenance service ask about reducing the
hours of filtration. For extra savings, when you
replace your filter pump motor consider purchasing an
Protect Your Pool Or Spa
-- Wind has the same effect on your spa as blowing on
hot soup. It will cool it off and increase
evaporation. Well-trimmed hedges, trees and shrubs,
gazebos and fencing can all provide a nice windbreak.
Invest In A Pool Or Spa Cover
-- You can save as much as 90% of your summer pool
heating costs by using a solar cover. Not only does it
help minimize night time heat loss (up to 5°F), but it
will also prevent chemical loss and water evaporation
(hundreds of gallons per month). When shopping for a
cover, keep these features in mind: durability, price,
warranty, transparency of material, insulation values
-- Solar pool heating systems are especially effective
during the summer months and can back up a regular
pool heater in the spring and the fall. A solar pool
heating system can be a significant investment, so
make sure the savings have a pay back period of less
than or equal to the useful life of the equipment.
Turn Off Those Bubbles
-- The device that adds bubbles to your spa uses up to
4 kilowatt hours per hour to operate. Bubbles may be
soothing, but they cool down the water, making the
heater run longer to keep the water warm.
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