Energy-Saving Tips in Winter -- and All Year Round Resources from New York Energy $mart Last Edited: Wednesday, 31 Oct 2007, 9:21 PM EDT Created: Wednesday, 31 Oct 2007, 6:26 PM EDT MyFoxNY.com -- Interested in learning how to save energy (and money)? Here are some fun facts and great tips to lower your energy costs this winter (and all year round), courtesy the New York Energy $mart program. VIDEO: CUT ENERGY COSTS THIS WINTER WINTER ENERGY-SAVING TIPS Use a programmable thermostat with your heating system to automatically lower the temperature at night or when no one is home. Keep the warm air in and the cold air out by adding insulation, caulking and weather-stripping around doors, attic access, windows, outlets and any area that can let the cold air in and the warm air out. Or, ® call a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor to assess your home's efficiency. It's a good time to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace old batteries. Remember as you seal up leaks in your home this becomes even more important. Make sure floor and wall vents are not blocked by draperies, furniture, or rugs. Vents should also be cleaned regularly with a vacuum or broom. Keep blinds and drapes of sun-exposed windows open in the daytime and closed at night. When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. Have your heating system inspected by a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor. If you have a forced-air heating system, check your air filters once a month and replace if dirty. Make sure outdoor portions of your heating system are not blocked by leaves, shrubbery, or other objects. If you have a window air conditioning unit, remove it for the winter months to prevent heat from escaping through and around the unit. If it can't be removed, buy a cover to prevent drafts. Install rubber gaskets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls. Gaskets can be found in most home improvement stores. Ceiling fans can keep you comfortable in the winter too! Reversing the direction of the blades pushes warm air down in to the room. Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees. For added savings, have your water heater wrapped with an insulation blanket by your Heating/Plumbing Contractor. HOME ENERGY USE DID YOU KNOW? You could use 30% LESS energy in your home just by using energy more wisely and purchasing products with the ENERGY STAR label. You can find the ENERGY STAR on refrigerators, clothes washers, computers, dishwashers, room air conditioners, TVs, VCRs, dehumidifiers, lighting, ceiling fans, and more! Where does your home use energy? - 60% - Air conditioning/heat - 16% - Water heater - 12% - Refrigerator - 7% - Lights - 5% - Computers, TV, etc. The amount of electricity you use is measured in, and priced by, kilowatt-hours (kWh). When you pay for a kilowatt-hour of electricity, you are paying for 1,000 watts of electricity used continuously for one hour. You can calculate the operating cost of any electrical appliance by checking its wattage and using these formulas: - wattage x hours used/1,000 = kWh - kWh x cost per kWh = operating cost LIGHTING DID YOU KNOW? Replacing your current incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) will save you nearly $30 over the life of each bulb. ENERGY STAR CFLs use 66% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer. This means that over the life of one CFL, a consumer can avoid replacing up to 10 incandescent bulbs! ENERGY STAR lighting fixtures put out the same amount of light as standard fixtures while providing excellent color rendering and light temperature. Colors appear true and natural. ENERGY STAR fixtures operate at much lower temperatures than many traditional lamps, drastically reducing the risk of fire in your home. LIGHTING ENERGY-SAVING TIPS Turn off unused lights and electronics (TVs, radios, computers) when you leave a room. Use timers on indoor and outdoor lights. THE ATTIC - ENERGY-SAVING TIPS Check your insulation - especially your attic. By increasing and filling gaps in insulation in older homes you keep your home warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, and save money all year round. Install a vapor barrier in your attic to reduce the flow of moisture from inside your home through the insulation. This eliminates condensation that reduces insulation efficiency. LAUNDRY DID YOU KNOW? 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. ENERGY STAR clothes washers use 50% less water than standard models, saving about 8,000 gallons a year per household. They also use 37% less energy, saving you up to $80 a year (depending on the water temperature setting and whether it's an electric or natural gas hot water heater). In addition, ENERGY STAR clothes washers extract more water from clothes during the spin cycle. This reduces the drying time and saves energy. LAUNDRY ENERGY-SAVING TIPS Only wash and dry full loads. Always rinse in cold water. Hang your laundry outdoors to dry. Remove the lint from your dryer screen. Make sure the clothes dryer exhaust is not blocked. REFRIGERATOR DID YOU KNOW? Your refrigerator uses the most electricity of all the appliances in your home. A refrigerator sold in 2001 uses 40% amount of electricity needed to operate an ENERGY STAR model. ENERGY STAR refrigerators have better insulation and efficient motors, as well as all the features you want and expect. REFRIGERATOR ENERGY-SAVING TIPS Select a refrigerator/freezer with energy-saving features. It's guaranteed to use 20% less electricity than the standard model, saving you approximately $60 a year. Get more info on ENERGY STAR refrigerators. Regularly clean the condenser coils of your refrigerator that are typically located underneath or behind the refrigerator. Make sure the seals on your refrigerator, freezer and oven doors fit tightly. Easily perform this test by leaving a lit flashlight inside a closed appliance and if you see light around the gasket, replace the gasket. Keep your refrigerator between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. DISHWASHER DID YOU KNOW? ENERGY STAR dishwashers are 41% more efficient than the federal minimum standard for energy. An ENERGY STAR dishwasher saves approximately 1,200 gallons of water a year - 6 times the amount of water the average person drinks in a year! 60% to 80% of the power used by a dishwasher is consumed just to heat the water. DISHWASHER ENERGY-SAVING TIPS Run your dishwasher only when full. Air dry the clean dishes by turning the energy-saver switch on. Scrape - do not rinse! Scrape your dishes before loading the dishwasher. Pre-rinsing is no longer necessary with today's technology and detergents. You may be using more water to pre-rinse your dishes than the dishwasher uses for a full wash cycle! HOME OFFICE DID YOU KNOW? Look for the ENERGY STAR label on computer monitors, fax machines, copiers and water coolers. In the average home, 40% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Home electronic products use energy when they're off to power features like clock displays and remote controls. Those that have earned the ENERGY STAR use as much as 50% less energy to perform these functions, while providing the same performance at the same price as less-efficient models. HOME OFFICE ENERGY SAVING TIPS Turn off lights in offices when they are not in use. Turn off office equipment when it is not needed at night or on the weekends. THE BATH - ENERGY-SAVING TIPS Use your exhaust fans sparingly. In just one hour they can remove a houseful of warmed or cooled air. Repair all leaky faucets. One drop per second can waste as much as 10 gallons of water in a week. Take showers rather than baths. A typical shower requires only half as much hot water as an average tub bath. For more great ways to conserve energy and save money, check out the resources at New York Energy $mart.
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