Saturday, July 19, 2008

The rising cost of gas and electric

With the cost of Gas and Electric going up this year. I thought I would list some tips for saving energy to help reduce some of the cost.
Heating and cooling

To save energy, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer. You save 3 percent on the day’s heating or cooling costs by setting your thermostat back one degree (higher for cooling, lower for heating) for that 24-hour period. Maintain those settings and you save 3 percent all season!
Clean or replace heating and cooling filters once a month or as needed. If your filter is in a cardboard frame, it needs to be replaced monthly during the heating season. If your system doubles as a central air-conditioning system, also clean or replace the filter monthly while the cooling system is in use.
Clean air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed. Make sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
Bleed trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season. If in doubt about how to perform this task, call a professional.
Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans wisely. In just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed or cooled air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done the job.
During the heating season, keep the draperies and blinds on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight and heat to enter your home.
Close drapes at night to help reduce heat loss.
During the cooling season, keep the window coverings closed during the day to prevent the sun from heating your home.
Make sure drapes don't block registers and air returns.
Close off unoccupied rooms.
Install individual room controls to heat and cool rooms only when you use them.
Have your heating and cooling systems serviced once a year to ensure peak operational efficiency.
Saving water and water-heating energy
Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.
Insulate long runs of hot-water supply pipe, especially sections that pass through unheated spaces.
Repair or replace leaky faucets. The drips add up fast and represent dollars going down the drain. A hot water faucet that leaks one drop per second wastes more than 2,300 gallons of hot water per year, which could cost as much as $36. The replacement washers needed to repair a leaky faucet costs only a few cents.
Lower the water heater thermostat to 120°F., or raise the temperature and install a cold water-mixing valve to the line. Water reaching your tap will be 120°F., will be safe enough to avoid scalds, and will save you money.


Wash with cold water whenever possible.
Wash and dry full loads to maximize efficiency.
Don't overload dryers. Overloaded dryers use more energy, cause clothes to wrinkle so they may need to be ironed, and wears out clothes more quickly.
Use suds savers and front-loading washers for maximum efficiency.
Always adjust the water level to fit load size. Overloaded washers don't clean clothes as effectively so they even may need to be rewashed.
Clean the lint filter after each drying cycle to maintain dryer efficiency.

Energy-efficient lighting

Use task lighting to target work and leisure activities. This lets you reduce your overall room lighting levels.
Use energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs—especially in fixtures that operate more than two hours a day. They cost more initially but use 75 percent less electricity and last about ten times longer than incandescent bulbs.
Open shades and blinds to take advantage of natural light.
Select bulbs carefully. Look for the highest lumens at the lowest wattage. Wattage is the power needed to make a bulb work. Lumens measure brightness.
Long-life bulbs emit less light than standard incandescent bulbs of the same wattage. Use long-life bulbs only in hard-to-reach places.
Keep light fixtures clean to gain the most illumination.


Test the tightness of the door seal on refrigerators and freezers. If the seal doesn't tightly hold a dollar bill when the door is closed, it's probably time to adjust or replace the gasket.
Replace old refrigerators. A 1980s-era refrigerator will cost up to 75 percent more to operate than a new super-efficient model.
For greatest efficency set refrigerators at 40º F. and freezers at 0º F.


Use your oven instead of your cook top to cut cooking costs. Surface units heat continuously, but an insulated oven normally heats one-third of the time it's in use.
Don't peek. Cooking temperatures can drop as much as 50º every time the oven door is opened, causing the oven to reheat.
Use the oven's self-cleaning cycle only for big cleaning jobs. Start the cycle while the oven is still hot from baking.
Use small appliances such as crockpots, electric frying pans, toaster ovens, and microwave ovens to save when cooking.

No comments: