How to Save BIG on Energy Costs!
I have no mechanical skills but halved my monthly energy costs by following these simple tips --
80% of the energy used in the typical American home is for Heating and AC --
+ If you don't have a programmable thermostat, get one for only $30 - $50 and save tons of money.
If you can read and follow instructions, you can install it!
+ In winter, you save 2 percent in energy costs for every 1 degree you lower the temperature.
+ Program the thermostat as cool as is comfortable when you wear a sweater and pants.
67 or 68 degrees feels fine to most people.
+ Program the thermostat 10 degrees cooler while you’re sleeping.
55 degrees is comfortable with sheets and blankets.
+ Program the thermostat to 40 degrees when no one is home.
Many working couples aren't home during the workday. Why heat then?
Set it to 40 degrees when you’re out of town or on vacation.
+ Heat selected rooms only. Don’t heat the basement.
Close or block vents to little-used “cold rooms.”
+ Ensure you have clean furnace air filters.
+ Check around windows and doors for heat loss by using a match flame to check for airflow.
+ Caulk and reseal windows and put in weatherstripping around doors.
This requires no skill.
+ Read about attic insulation, then install some if you need it.
This requires some skill but is do-able.
+ Buy a $15 - $25 thermal blanket and put it around your water heater.
You’ll save $8 to $9 per month!
+ Turn your water heater dial to the minimal acceptable heat.
Set it to “Vacation” during absences.
+ Dry laundry on a clothesline instead of using a dryer.
Dryers consume lots of energy during their brief periods of use.
Hang a clothesline indoors for bad weather or if your suburb forbids outdoor lines.
+ Wash clothes in cold or warm water rather than hot.
I live in the midwestern US yet never use AC! Here’s how –
+ Forgo AC by opening windows at night to let in cool air, then closing them and the curtains
or blinds during the day to retain the cool air.
+ Hang out in the cool basement or downstairs rec room rather than air conditioning upstairs rooms.
Or just AC one upstairs “cool room” and hang out there.
+ Don't leave the AC on when you're not home.
+ Clean the AC filter monthly.
+ Substitute ceiling or other fans for AC.
+ Plant shade trees around your house.
These reduce indoor temperatures and yield AC savings of 8 to 18%.
Leaves fall to let in sunshine for winter heating savings of 2 to 8%.
Reduce your lighting bill --
+ Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Why light an empty room?
+ Direct outdoor lighting down and out by capping the light with a reflective hat.
This reduces energy because you’re not wasting light by sending it above the horizontal
plane up into space. (Do you want to light your driveway or the area 50 feet above it?)
+ Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) use 23% of the energy of the old “hot” bulbs
Plus they last way longer.
+ CFLs are cheap now ... Look for sales at Walgreens, Jewel and Walmart.
+ If you break a CFL, let the room ventilate for ½ hour, then clean up carefully with gloves.
Don't let kids or pets near!
+ LEDs use only 10% of the energy of the old “hot” bulbs!
+ LEDs are great in flashlights, nightlights, solar lawn lights, Christmas lights, etc.
Example -- I had three strings of outdoor Christmas lights that use 40 watts per string.
I replaced them with LED strings that use 4 watts each.
My energy requirement plummeted from 120 total watts to 12.
Example 2 -- I use two small nightlights. With standard 4-watt bulbs, if both are on
for an 8-hour night, this consumes 64 watt-hours of electricity (4 watts * 8 hours * 2 bulbs).
For only $2.50, I bought two LED nightlights at Walmart. Each uses only 0.3 watts.
Together they use a total of only 4.8 watt-hours per night (0.3 watts * 8 hours * 2 bulbs).
Use those nightlights every night for a year and you save over 21,000 watt-hours!
Kill Energy Ghosts! —
+ Energy ghosts are appliances that consume energy 24 by 7 without you realizing it.
Examples are the clocks in your radio, VCR, and microwave oven.
Most TVs turn on by remote – they require a small continual energy supply to perform this trick.
+ Ghosts only use 2 to 6 watts of energy but they're consuming it 24 by 7.
+ If you have 5 ghosts using 5 watts each, they use 600 watt-hours per day (5 * 5 * 24).
That’s 219,000 watt-hours per year!
+ So unplug your microwaves, DVD players, VCRs, and TVs when not in use.
+ Replace your electric alarm clock(s) with hand-powered (wind-up) alarm clocks.
Use Rechargeable Batteries--
+ Get a solar battery charger (about $20 to $50) and use rechargeable batteries.
Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) are the best general-purpose rechargeable batteries.
Buy a High Mileage Car—
+ Why do you see all those hybrids on the road? Their drivers are saving gas money!
+ The better conventional gas cars can get 40 mpg
+ Unless you really require an SUV, light truck or van, use a small high-mileage car instead.
+ Keep your car tuned up and your tires inflated.
+ Don't drive like a speed demon.
Fuel economy drops 1% for every mile per hour over 55.
When you hit 75 mph your fuel economy is down by 25%.
More Info -- see MichaelBlueJay's website.
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