Energy Tips - University of Alaska Fairbanks

Energy Tips:
Conserve and Save
by Roxie Rodgers Dinstel, Extension Faculty, Health, Home and
Family Development, and Helen Idzorek and Marsha Munsell,
Nutrition Educators
Visit the Cooperative Extension Service website at or 1-877-520-5211
June 2011
America’s Arctic University
The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service programs are
available to all, without regard to race, color, age, sex, creed, national origin, or
disability and in accordance with all applicable federal laws. Provided in furtherance of
Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fred Schlutt, Director of Cooperative Extension Service,
University of Alaska Fairbanks. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative
action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution.
As energy costs increase, you will be glad to know that simple
projects that can be done with a minimum of time and equipment
will reduce the amount of energy you use. Even if you are on a
limited budget, these low-cost energy conservation techniques can
add up to big savings.
Cost to you — Free
yy Turn down the thermostat. For every degree you turn your
home’s thermostat down, you take about 2 percent off your
energy bill. Lowering the thermostat 5 degrees at night
and 10 degrees during the day when you are out can cut as
much as 20 percent off your heating costs.
yy Keep radiators and vents clear of furniture and drapes.
yy Turn off the lights when leaving the room.
yy Turn down the thermostat on the water heater to 120˚F.
yy Keep the refrigerator door closed.
yy Clean the gasket on the refrigerator and freezer doors
so they shut securely. Vacuum the coils underneath the
refrigerator for efficient operation. A clean refrigerator or
freezer works more efficiently.
yy Check the temperature inside both refrigerator and freezer.
If your (accurate!) thermometer says the refrigerator is
colder than 36°F or hotter than 40°F, adjust the controls.
If the freezer falls between zero and 5°F, you’re fine.
Otherwise, adjust the controls. If you go 10 degrees less
than the minimum suggested levels, you can increase your
energy use by up to 25 percent.
yy Run your dishwasher on normal setting. Don’t use special
features such as pot scrubber.
yy Use the shortest washing time possible, depending on how
dirty the clothes. Washing longer than necessary wastes
energy and wears out clothes.
yy Set washer loads for “warm” or “cold” wash instead of
hot. Extra dirty loads might need a cold water presoak. The
only time a washer really needs hot water is for oily/greasy
stains. The rinse water should always be cold since the
temperature does not affect cleaning. Using cooler water
gives you the added bonus of longer-lasting clothes.
yy Clean the lint trap (and possibly even the vent pipe) on
your clothes dryer.
Cost to you — Less than $5
yy Install foam gaskets under switch plates and outlets on
exterior walls.
yy Use plastic transparent window film on drafty windows.
yy Use power strips for appliances and entertainment centers
that have an instant-on feature or clock. Turn off when not
in use.
yy Stop leaks by replacing washers in sink faucet.
yy Make a draft dodger by filling an old sock or fabric tube
with sand and place against the bottom of exterior doors.
Cost to you — Less than $10
yy Use spray foam insulation around windows and door
frames to seal leaks.
yy Replace weather stripping around exterior doors.
yy Replace door sweep on the bottom of door.
Cost to you — Less than $25
yy Install insulating blanket on water heater.
yy Install new threshold under exterior doors.
yy Install low-flow shower head.
Resources for additional information:
UAF Cooperative Extension Service, 474-2420
Rich Seifert, Extension Community Sustainability
Coordinator, 474-7201
Interior Weatherization, 452-5323
Golden Valley Electric Association, 452-1151
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