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Energy saving tips and ideas

Energy savings at home

Our energy saving tips and ideas will help you meet your goals of conservation at home, all the while rewarding you with energy savings. Some of these conservation tips and ideas are centered around forming good consumption habits.

Altering consumption habits can go a long way to reducing your monthly utility bills. This is especially true for those with small children. Some of our energy saving tips are long term solutions that will require initial costs. The cost effectiveness of each tip or idea will vary on a case by case basis.

Are you an energy savings minded home or business owner? Then help us spread the word. Click here to share your tips, techniques and home improvements.

Home heating and cooling

Heating and cooling alone accounts for nearly half of the average American homes total utility bills. Here are some energy saving tips and ideas to reduce your heating and cooling costs.
  • If you have central heating and cooling systems, check all of your vents for possible obstructions such as furniture or rugs.
  • During the cooling season replace your air filter at least every other month. A dirty air filter is guaranteed to increase an electricity bill during the cooling season.
  • A ventilated outdoor cover can be applied to your air conditioning unit. An a/c unit operating in the shade can consume 10% to 15% less electricity.
  • If comfortable, manually setback your thermostat during the heating season and setup during the cooling season.
  • Automatically setback and setup temperature settings using a daily and weekly schedule with programmable residential thermostats. This allows homeowners to takes full advantage of the times that no one is home and programmable thermostats are easy to install.

Watch the windows

Home windows are the largest source of wasted energy. This waste on average can account for 10% to 25% of your total heating and cooling bills. Here are some energy saving tips and ideas to reduce heat loss during the winter and heat gain during the summer.

  • Inspect the caulk and weather stripping around your windows for potential cracks. Cracks indicate moisture build up, and moisture build up is a result of air leakage. Reseal air leaks with caulk and replace weather stripping around windows and doors every other year.
  • Consider energy saving window treatments and window coverings. Choosing the right combination of window treatments can not only decorate a home, it can lower heating and cooling bills significantly.

Water heating tips

Water heating accounts for 13% to 17% of the average homes total energy costs. Here are some energy saving tips and ideas to significantly reduce your water heating cost.

  • On average nearly half of a homes hot water use occurs in the shower. With water saving shower heads you can significantly reduce hot water use without even limiting the amount of time spent in the shower.

  • For just a few dollars, purchasing bathroom and kitchen faucet aerators can also effortlessly reduce your hot water use.

  • Whether electric, gas, heat pump or solar powered; the storage tank will require important up keeps in order to maximize both energy efficiency and performance. Periodic water heater maintenance will go a long way.

  • With storage tank water heaters, some energy loss (standby heat loss) is unavoidable. With a water heater blanket and a water heater timer, you can significantly reduce this costly energy loss.

  • You can altogether eliminate the energy loss associated with storage tanks with a tankless hot water heater.

  • A solar hot water heater is the most energy saving water heating option available. The biggest advantage is the renewable source of energy that's used. The sun's radiant heat is both cost free and free of carbon emissions.

Energy conservation ideas for major appliances

Major household appliances on average account for about 17% of a homes total energy use. The biggest culprits are refrigerators, washing machines and clothe dryers respectively.

Here are some energy saving tips and ideas to reduce the electricity and natural gas costs involved with operating these appliances.

  • Check the thermostat in your refrigerator. The recommended temperature setting for fresh foods is between 37 and 40 degrees and for frozen foods its between 0 and 5 degrees. 
  • It's a good idea to check the refrigerator temperature yourself. Place a thermometer in a full glass of water in the fresh food compartment and place a thermometer by itself in the freezer, after about 24 hours remove the thermometers for an accurate reading.
  • Manually defrost the freezer regularly, especially older models. Frost build up decreases the efficiency of the freezer. Don't allow the frost build up to exceed one quarter of an inch in thickness.
  • Test the door seals of the freezer and refrigerator. The seals should be as air tight as possible. Close the doors over a sheet of paper. If the object falls or if you can pull the object out fairly easily then the door latch may need adjusting or the seals may have expired.
  • Keep in mind that the average refrigerator last about 14 years. It maybe time to consider purchasing a new energy efficient refrigerator.

Energy saving tips for lighting

The electricity used to light our homes accounts for about 11% of our total energy costs. Traditional light bulbs are incredibly inefficient, using only about 5% of the electricity consumed to produce light.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs use over 30% of the electricity consumed to produce an equal amount of light. Switch your bulbs and start with the most often used light fixtures and lamps.

Other energy saving tips

  • Keep your oven range tops and reflectors clean. This will immediately save you money on your natural gas or electricity costs because the heat is reflected more effectively.
  • If your oven burner is powered by natural gas, be on the look out for yellow colored flames. This indicates that gas is burning inefficiently. Adjustments to the gas dispense valve (usually found behind the oven) maybe needed.
  • When possible match the size of pots and pans to the food servings being cooked or heated. Larger pots and pans simply take longer to heat.
  • Use a microwave or pressure cooker (my favorite is the George Forman Grill) instead of an oven whenever possible. The amount of electricity or natural gas used by conventional ovens is always greater then the amount electricity used by microwaves and plug in cookers.
  • And during the spring and summer using your oven less gives your air conditioning system a much needed break.

Water conservation can be overlooked These water saving tips and conservation ideas can significantly lower monthly water (and water heating) bills.

We want to hear from you

Have your own energy saving ideas? Have you embarked on a small or large project to improve energy efficiency? This is the place to share.

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