In this economy, it is increasingly important to make use of every dollar. One way to do this is by cutting costs on your home maintenance bills. Using your appliances and heating/cooling system to manage your energy usage is a good way to ensure that you maximize your savings. Here we provide you some quick tips on making the most of your energy consumption.
You might own the most energy efficient home ever built, but if you don’t implement energy conserving practices, you might not be saving as much money as you could be. For example, leaving all of the lights on or keeping the windows open when you are heating or cooling the house adds to high energy costs.
For starters, you should use energy efficient heating/cooling systems and appliances. In addition, by taking into account natural lighting and selecting fluorescent bulbs, you can reduce your lighting costs significantly. Furthermore, you can incorporate timers, motion detectors, and photocells (a type of resistor that controls current flow) at appropriate locations in your home to assist in managing your lighting needs.
Many people are concerned with the impact that energy conservation has on their comfort. In most cases, it will actually increase comfort. For example, replacing an incandescent light with a fluorescent bulb will not only save you energy, but also provide you with a more comfortable light source that is easier on the eyes.
Below, you will see a home energy checklist which offers more suggestions you can use toward conserving energy:
1. Select high efficiency, properly sized appliances. Look for the Energy Star logo.
2. If you use gas, select appliances with electronic ignition.
3. Make use of natural light as much as possible.
4. Turn off lights when not in use, even if you are away for only a few minutes.
5. Install lower wattage bulbs in fixtures where you don’t need much light.
6. Wherever possible, use one higher wattage bulb instead of several lower watt bulbs.
7. Dust your light bulbs periodically. Dusty bulbs can emit 20% less light.
8. Install high efficiency, compact fluorescent light bulbs in all lighting fixtures.
9. See if your lighting use can be decreased by using sensors, dimmers, or timers.
10. Lower the temperature on your electric water heater to 120°F degrees. Turn it off when leaving for an extended period of time, say on vacation.
11. Set refrigerator to 40°F and keep it stocked. It takes more energy to cool an empty refrigerator. If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, it’s probably using three times the energy of newer models.
12. Only run the dishwasher when there is a full load. Air dry.
13. Shut off lights, computers and electronic appliances when not in use. Using the sleep mode setting will greatly reduce energy consumption.
14. Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use, especially if they have an adapter box on it (such as a computer or cell phone chargers). These use energy even when the appliance or electronic isn’t on.
15. Keep appliances away from heat and direct sunlight so as not to cause overuse due to excess heat. For example, keep your air conditioner out of direct sunlight and your refrigerator away from the oven if possible.
About the Author: Charles Gueli has worked in the construction industry for over 40 years. He invites you to ask questions and take advantage of the resources at www.continuous-home-improvement-help.com, where guidance, information and support are always available―helping homeowners make better decisions.