MONEY SAVING TIPS Conserve Energy to Save Money Finding ways to conserve in the areas where you use the most energy will save you more money. The average household’s energy dollars go mainly to heating (35 percent) and cooling (20 percent), with water heating also a large portion of the monthly bill (20 percent). Heating and Cooling Tips • • • • • • Set your thermostat on savings. Try 65 degrees in the winter, 78 in the summer. Don’t pay to heat/cool an empty home. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to regulate heat/air when you’re out. Change your clothes, not your thermostat. Wear extra layers in winter. Switch to thinner, loose-fitting fabrics in summer. Don’t lose energy: It costs money! Check your home for leaks around doors and windows. Seal any leaks, and be sure to keep the fireplace damper closed when you don’t have a fire to keep heated air from escaping up the chimney. Add insulation around walls, floors, and ceilings. Buy smart. Purchase the most energy efficient system you can afford when you are in the market for a new heating or cooling system. Don’t use it if you don’t need to. Reduce or eliminate the use of gas logs, gas grills, or other non-essential gas appliances. Programmable Thermostats: Comfort on Your Schedule Do you like waking up—or coming home—to a warm, cozy house in the winter or a pleasantly cool home in the summer? A programmable thermostat lets you match your heating or cooling needs with your schedule. That way, you don’t spend money keeping an empty house comfortable. KUB recommends setting your thermostat to 78 in the summer and 65 in the winter. Each degree change saves you 1 percent on your heating or cooling bill. Do You Know . . . ? . . . A refrigerator/freezer uses up to 5 percent of the total energy in the average home? If you have two, you might want to consider consolidating the food into one and retiring the second one. You’ll start saving right away. . . . How much it costs to run a set of gas logs? Most logs range from 25,000 to 60,000 BTU (British thermal units). In our area, it costs between 53 cents and and $1.26 an hour to burn gas logs, depending on the BTU rating of your logs. That may not seem like much, but it can add up over a month’s time. Continued Water Heating Lower the thermostat to 120 degrees. • Repair leaky faucets. • Use cold water for laundry. • Insulate water heater/pipes. • Use less water. • Install low-flow showerheads and aerating faucets. • Insulate hot water storage tank and piping (don’t block air vents) and save $8-$20/year. • Drain a few gallons of water from tank every six months to remove sludge and increase the efficiency and life of the heater. Use a water heater timer for electric units. Turn off the water heater when you will be away (unless there is the chance of freezing). • • • Dishwasher • • • • • • • Wash full loads, but don’t overload Air-dry to save up to 30 percent of energy Choose short cycles to use less hot water and save up to 25 percent of water heating costs. Low water usage dishwashers (since 1994) use seven to 10 gallons a cycle. Choose the lowest usage practical for your needs. Set your water heater at 120 degrees if your dishwasher can heat water to 140 degrees Keep filters and drains clean Don’t rinse if you don’t have to: Most newer models say pre-rinsing is unnecessary. Oven/Cooktop • • Washer/Dryer • • • • • • • • • Wash full loads, but don’t overload. Use warm or cold water. Rinse in cold water. Match water level to load. Dry like-weight items together. Clean the lint filter after every load. Dry full loads, but don’t over-dry. Put the next load in before the dryer cools Keep outside vent clean. Refrigerator/Freezer • • • • • • • • • Keep the door shut. Vacuum coils every three months. Cool foods to room temperature, then refrigerate. Place away from heat sources. Leave space around the refrigerator. Keep the freezer full (add containers of water). Check door gaskets regularly. Consider replacing units 10 years or older. Disconnect extra units, if possible. • • • • • Preheat only when necessary (baked goods). Ten minutes should be good enough. Use the oven: It’s more efficient than surface-units. Keep the oven door closed. Each time you open it, the temperature inside drops 25 to 50 degrees. Defrost food in the refrigerator so it cooks faster. Keep lids on pots and pans while cooking. Match pan size to burner. Microwave: It uses less energy. Lighting • • • • • • Turn off lights when you leave the room. Keep all lamps and fixtures clean. Use task lighting instead of lighting the room. Use floor lamps and hanging lamps near corners. The walls will reflect the light. Open drapes and blinds on sunny, cool days. Use one bulb to replace several. A 100W bulb is more efficient than two 50W bulbs. Save Money With Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs A compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) can save $40 or more in electricity costs over its lifetime. CFLs use less energy than incandescent bulbs, produce the same light, and last up to 10 times longer. CFLs provide the greatest savings when they’re used in fixtures that are used more than 15 minutes at a time. They provide the least benefit if they’re used in closets, for example. The federal government’s Energy Star guidelines suggest using CFLs in open fixtures that allow airflow. Good examples are table and floor lamps, hanging lamps, wall sconces, and outdoor fixtures.
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