Eight Ways To Save Energy At Home

Eight ways to save energy at home by becoming energy conscious.

Becoming energy conscious is a popular environmental attitude that is socially acceptable and politically correct as well. Taking care of our natural resources is a important way to exercise good stewardship of the earth we enjoy but the most motivating reason to be energy conscious may be as simple as saving your hard earned dollars! Here are a few ways we can easily save energy in our home and money at the same time!

INSTALL A SETBACK THERMOSTAT

To save about 20-30% on your cooling and heating bill per year you can install a setback thermostat. These thermostats are very easy to install and will allow you to program and control the temperatures in your home for any given time.

REPAIR A RUN-ON TOILET

A toilet that runs continuously wastes water and costs you money. It is usually caused by a malfunction float which is easy to fix and can save you hundreds of gallons of water a week.

The float should not be submerged and should resist pressure to push it under. If it is partly submerged it is taking on water and needs to be replaced. If the floatball is floating try lifting the ball and see if the water stops. If it does, bend the arm of the floatball down to create more pressure close to the valve as the water rises.

FILL THE CRACKS IN YOUR HOME

Heat or cool air is always lost through cracks in your home even when you can not see the holes. Start by walking around the exterior of your home and look for gaps and openings that could be caulked. For example, water spigots, dryer vents, window casings, swamp cooler vents, around storm doors or thresholds would all be a good place for silicone caulking. You could also use spray in foam that will expand and fill the void in hard or reach places. Don't forget to seal off doorways that enter unheated area's of your home like attic crawlspace entries and garage door openings.

Adding additional insulation is also a cost effective way to save energy costs. Polywrappped batts can be placed over loose-fill insulation or you can unroll new insulation on top of the top joists if there is room in the cavity.



WATER HEATER TEMPERATURES

120 degrees is a acceptable lower water temperature that should still provide ample heat for most homes. Wrapping your water heater with an insulating blanket can also be a good idea.

FLORESCENT LIGHTING

Yes compact florescent bulbs are more expensive to use but the are much more long-lasting than incandescent bulbs lasting 9-13 times longer for a 60-85% savings. You will need a small ballast to modify electrical power but you can get them with an adapter base that screws into a standard socket. Look at compact florescent bulbs as a long term investment. I purchase my bulbs from a store that will guarantee how many years they will last. By marking the date they are installed right onto the end I can accurately test the savings.

WASH AND DRY CLOTHES AT NIGHT

Most everyone remembers that weekend long distance calls are cheaper, electricity also has a peak time that is more economical. Generally off-peak times are after 10pm and before 9am. Be sure and clean out the lint filter for faster drying time. You can also set your washer to the warm water setting instead of hot.

REPLACE FILTERS

Cars perform better with clean fuel and air filters just as our furnace filters need to be changed and cleaned. Furnace filters should be changed every month and air conditioners replaced during high use periods as well. Even the compression coils behind your refrigerator need to be brushed off with a soft bristled brush once in a while.

SHOWER FLOW RESTRICTORS

Replace your showerhead with a low-flow restrictor which reduces the flow of water spray while still giving you an adequate shower. Water heating is about 20 percent of the total energy waste in your home so lowering the hot water usage will save your money. Take a bath to conserve water or put an kitchen timer on the bathroom counter so you don't loose track of the time!

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