Energy saving ideas Making a few minor adjustments can make a big difference in the amount of energy you use. By dressing appropriately for the weather, sealing your house, and using appliances wisely, you can cut energy costs and increase comfort for you and your family. Weatherize your home • Weatherstrip and/or caulk around windows and door frames: seal bypasses. • Insulate attic floor in the range of R-38 to R-44. • Provide adequate ventilation for air circulation in your attic. • Plant trees for a windbreak and sun protection. Most of us understand the importance Tips for keeping warm of conserving energy and protecting Follow manufacturer’s recommendation for proper maintenance of your heating system, or follow these instructions: the environment, but it’s hard to know where to begin. Forced air furnace Here are some simple actions you can take right now to reduce your household energy consumption and start living a “greener” lifestyle. • Have your heating and cooling system inspected annually by a qualified contractor. • Oil blower and motor, if recommended by manufacturer. • Check flue pipes for signs of rust, corrosion or holes. • Check filters monthly and change or clean as needed. • Clean humidifier at beginning of heating season. • Check ducts and repair leaks or separations; insulate if in an unheated area. Other tips • Keep thermostat set at 65-68 degrees F during the day and 58 degrees F at night or when you will be gone four hours or more. Set at 55 degrees F during winter vacations or long periods away from home. • Keep furniture or other obstructions away from forced air vents. • Open shades or drapes to let the sun warm the house. Other times, keep window coverings closed to keep cold air out. • Insulate shades or drapes or hang liners behind drapes. • Keep fireplace damper closed when not in use. • Keep doors to unheated areas (basement, garage or attic) closed. • Humidify if necessary. Dry air evaporates skin moisture and makes you feel chilly. Adequate humidity makes lower temperatures feel more comfortable. • Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans sparingly. • Plug cold air leaks around permanent window air conditioners. If grille plate is removable, tuck in cloth or plastic to shut off drafts; be sure to remove before turning unit on. • Stretch plastic tightly over inside or outside of windows to reduce cold air infiltration. • Wear several layers of medium weight clothes versus one heavy layer. Tips for keeping cool • Keep temperature difference between indoors and outdoors 15 degrees or less. • In summer, shade windows from direct sun with awnings and trees. Apply tinted plastic film to windows to reduce solar heat gain and reduce work for air conditioner. • Keep cooling system clean, including filters, fans, ducts, vents and thermostats. Clean or change filter monthly during heating and cooling seasons. Keep condensation drain open. Do not block circulation of air from vents or cold air returns with furniture or drapes. • Adjust registers to promote upward air flow. • Keep outdoor cooling unit clean; remove leaves and debris. Clean exposed coils with garden hose, from inside of the unit out. Using appliances wisely Range, oven or broiler Water heater • Preheat oven five to ten minutes for pastries and foods that rise, such as cakes and breads. It is not necessary to preheat for meats and casseroles. • Insulate hot water pipes that run through cold areas. • Gas broiling is smokeless; broil with the door closed. Infra-red broilers do not need preheating. • Bake multiple recipes and freeze extras for later use. • Avoid opening oven door; you can lose up to 50 degrees F. • Never use oven to warm the kitchen; it was not designed for space heating and could be damaged. Range burners • Cook on HIGH only when necessary. When food begins to boil, lower flame to lowest setting needed to maintain a gentle boil. • Fit flames to pan size; cover pans whenever possible and cook foods in least amount of water necessary. • If burner flame is yellow, ports (holes) and/or grates may need cleaning. Microwave • Use to heat small quantities of food (up to 2 cups). Refrigerator/freezer • Allow space around unit for good air circulation. • Defrost freezer before ice builds up to 1/4” thick. • Set at highest temperature that will keep food from spoiling: 40 degrees F for refrigerator, 0 degrees F for freezer. • Check refrigerator door seal; replace if necessary. Open and close door as little as possible, especially during hot weather. Dishwasher • Wash only full loads; see owner’s manual on loading. aogc.com Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Company Customer Relations P. O. Box 17004 Fort Smith, AR 72917 • Set your water heater to 120 degrees F. Today’s dishwashers typically have booster water heaters to further heat water to the higher temperatures needed for dishwashing. • Fix leaky faucets or toilet tanks. A small leak can waste as much as 3,280 gallons of water a year. • Avoid long showers and full tub baths. • Install a controlled-flow showerhead to reduce hot water use. • Run garbage disposal with cold water. Washer and dryer • When convenient, wash and dry full loads. • Use warm or cold water wash and cold water rinse whenever possible. • Clean dryer lint screen after each load. Dry fabrics only as much as necessary and run consecutive loads when possible. • Vent dryer to outside, and ensure vent remains clean and free from obstruction or blockage. • Separate lightweight fabrics from heavy weight fabrics. • Use “automatic cycle” if your dryer has one. When replacing dryer, consider a large capacity model. Additional energy savers • Turn off lights and TV in unoccupied rooms. • Keep light bulbs clean; even a film of dust reduces efficiency. Fluorescent bulbs use less energy than incandescent bulbs, give more light, and last longer. • Scrape dishes but do not rinse; keep filter screen clean. • Check EnergyGuide labels when shopping for new appliances. Improved design and materials make new major appliances much more efficient. • Shut off dishwasher before drying cycle. Open door and let dishes air dry, or use energy-saver air-dry option, if possible. • Put computers in sleep mode or turn off when not in use. • Use proper amount of detergent. Too much or too little reduces efficiency. 479-738-3181 • Drain a few pails of water from faucet at bottom of water heater every month to remove sediment.
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