As I visit with people and/or overhear conversations, there seems to always be the question of when will this market turn? Not only when it will turn but will it be a repeat of the bubble we saw in
101 Way To Conserve Energy On Your Home
1. Cook with small appliances: A toaster oven, electric skillet,popcorn popper and slow cooker for specialized jobs, ratherthan the range. Small appliances use less energy.
2. Use the microwave instead. The advantage of microwaveovens is shorter cooking times and shorter cooking timessave energy.
3. Clean or replace air filters. Replace filters on exhausthoods, humidifiers, vacuums, etc. Clogged filters impairperformance & cause units to run longer.
4. Run cold water for disposal. Cold water saves energy andsolidifies grease so that it will move through the food/wastedisposal and pipes easier.Refrigerators & Freezers
5. Purchase an Energy Star model. Energy Star refrigeratorsand freezers can save you hundreds of dollars on yourelectric bill over the average 17-year life of the appliance.
6. Select the right size. Determine your household’s needs andthen make a purchase. A unit that is too small will beovercrowded, one that is too large will waste energy.
7. Don’t set the temperature any colder than necessary. Setthe refrigerator temperature between 36° and 42° and set thefreezer temperature between – 5° and 6° F.
8.Clean the dust off condenser coils, evaporator pan, fins, andmotor once or twice a year with a vacuum cleaner orlong-handled brush.
9. Defrost a manual-defrost unit regularly. Frost makes yourunit work harder and wastes energy. Don’t allow more thanone-quarter inch of frost to build up.
10. A second refrigerator wastes energy. You can spend up to$120 in electricity a year using a 2nd refrigerator.
11. Stay away from direct heat. Place refrigerator/freezeraway from direct sunlight and other heat sources such asovens or ranges. Heat will cause the refrigerator to use moreenergy.
12. Don’t place your refrigerator or freezer in an unheatedspace. If the temperature drops below 60°, the compressormay stop running, spoiling stored food.
13. Refrigerator and freezer doors should seal tightly. Trysliding a dollar bill through the closed door - if you can movethe bill, the seal is not tight enough.Dishwashers
14. Always wait until you have a full load before running yourdishwasher. Load according to the manufacturer’srecommendations.
15. Use the shortest cycle that will properly clean.
16. Skip rinsing the dishes. Rinsing dishes beforeloading them into the dishwasher wastes energy.If you must rinse, use cold water.
17. Clean the filter. If your dishwasher has a filterscreen, clean it regularly.Ranges & Oven18. Start cooking on a higher heat setting until theliquid boils and then lower the temperature and simmerthe food until fully cooked.
19. Resist the urge to open the oven door while baking. Thetemperature will drop 25° and additional energy is used tobring the oven temperature back to the cooking temp.
20. Turn off the cook top or the oven a few minutes beforethe food has completed cooking and retained heat will finishthe job.
21. Select the correct pan size. Your pan size should matchthe surface heating unit.
22. Put a lid on it. Cook food & boil water in a coveredcontainer whenever possible.
23. Check the seal on your oven door to make sure it is tight.Even a small gap is enough to allow some of the heat to escape.
24. Test the temperature of your oven to be sure that thetemperature setting matches the actual temp in the oven.Washers & Dryers
25. Purchase and use a washer that allows you to control theload’s water level. You can save energy by using less hotwater for small loads.
26. Run full loads. Don’t waste energy by running partial loadsin both your washer and dryer.
27. Wash in warm or cold water. Use a hot water wash onlywhen the greatest cleaning is needed.
28. Rinse in cold water. The temperature of rinsewater has no effect on cleaning.
29. Place washer close to the water heater. Thewater loses heat as it flows through the pipes.
30. Don’t over-dry your clothes. Over drying laundry usesmore energy than is needed and it is hard on fabrics.
31. Clean the lint filter.Water Heaters & Water Usage
32. Purchase an energy-efficient model. It may cost moremoney initially, but in the long run it will cost less.
33. Purchase the correct size water heater. If your waterheater is too large, you will waste energy; if it is too small,you will likely run out of hot water.
34. Install your water heater near the kitchen. The kitchen isthe place where you use the hottest water. Placing the waterheater close to the kitchen saves energy.
35. Insulate water pipes. Use half-inch foam or pipe tape forinsulation wherever pipes are exposed. On cold water pipes,insulate four to five feet nearest to the water heater.
36. Set temperature to 120° F. If you have an electric waterheater, you’ll have to remove the cover plate of thethermostat to adjust the temperature. For safety reasons, turnoff the water heater at the circuit breaker fuse beforechanging the temperature.
37. Repair dripping faucets promptly. If the faucet leaks hotwater, you’re wasting the water and the energy used to heat it.(One drop a second can waste up to 48 gallons a week!)
38. Install a heat loop or in-line trap.These mechanisms areinexpensive to install and keep hot water in the insulated tankrather than in the piping system.
39. Drain a bucket of water from the bottom of the waterheater once or twice a year to reduce build-up of minerals.Before draining water from an electric water heater, turn offthe water heater at the circuit breaker/fuse.
40. Use low-flow showerheads in all showers in your house, aswell as faucet aerators on all faucets, to save energy.
41. Install a water softener to prevent deposits from coatingthe elements, if you have hard water. This will save bothenergy and money, and prolongs the life of your water heater.Humidifiers & Dehumidifiers
42. Purchase an Energy Star dehumidifier. They use 10 to 20percent less energy than a conventional model and offer thesame features as conventional models.
43. Use a humidifier in the colder months. You’ll be able to turnyour thermostat down to a lower temperature, save energyand still feel comfortable.
44. Use a dehumidifier in the warm, humid months to removemoisture from the air.
45. Place dehumidifier in the area with the highest humidity.
46. If your unit is running in temperatures less than 70°, check itoccasionally to see if frost is building up on the coils. If so, turnthe unit off until the frost melts.
47. Dust or vacuum the dehumidifier at least once a year.Lighting
48. Use Energy Star compact fluorescent lightbulbs. They lastlonger and use up to 75% less energy than standard light bulbs.
49. Open curtains and shades during the day instead of usinglighting. Consider skylights and solar tubes.
50. Plan within a room to provide general background lightingand task lighting. A good lighting plan can reduce lighting costsand still provide all the light you need.
51. Use a single, high-watt bulb. Using one high-watt bulbinstead of several low-watt bulbs saves energy.
52. Control outdoor lighting. Control your fixtures with a photocell or timer.
53. Turn off lights when not in use, even for short periods of time.
54. Use timers to turn lights on and off to help regulate use.
55. Avoid long-life incandescent light bulbs becasue they arethe least efficient of the incandescent bulbs.
56. Consider LED lighting. The Initial cost is more, but the lightsuse 10 times less energy and last 50 times longer thanincandescent lights. They use one-third the energy and last 5times longer than compact fluorescent lights.
57. Position lights properly. To do this, position your lightsource closer to the area you want lit.
58. Adjust light level. Higher light settings use more energy, sosave energy by using dimmer controls, high/low switches orthree-way bulbs.Air Conditioners
59. Purchase an energy-efficient central air conditioner bylooking at the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating.The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit.
60. Choose the right size equipment. Oversized equipmentcosts more money. A qualified heating contractor candetermine the size of the equipment needed for you.
61. Change the indoor and outdoor compressor coils whenreplacing an older central air conditioner.
62. Don’t position heat-producing devices such as lamps andTVs close to your thermostat. Heat from these devices couldcause the thermostat to read a temperature higher than thetrue room temperature.
63. Have your central air conditioner tuned up by a qualifiedheating contractor every other year. This helps the unit operatemore efficiently and may prevent failures.
64. Keep leaves, grass and other debris away from the outsidecondenser.
65. Save 10 percent or more on your summer cooling costs bysetting the thermostat to 76° when at home and higher whenyou go away.
66. Closing blinds, shades and drapes on the sunny side of yourhome during the day will help keep the house cooler.
67. Close unused rooms to keep cooled air in areas where it ismost needed.
68. Delay chores that produce heat and moisture until thecooler parts of the day. Dishwashing, laundering and cookingon hot, humid days make your room more uncomfortable andrequire your a/c to work harder.
69. Cook using your microwave oven rather than your standardoven or range.70. Don’t leave electronics on if you don’t need them – theyproduce heat.
71. Keep furniture and drapes away from air vents. This allowsthe cool air to move out into the rooms and keeps your airconditioner from running more than necessary.
72. Reduce heat build-up in your attic by installing proper vents.
73. Locate the unit out of direct sunlight and avoid the southand west sides of the house. Placing the air conditioner indirect sunlight causes it to work harder to cool your home.Room Air Conditioners
74. Purchase an Energy Star model. They cost at least 10percent less to operate than conventional models.
75. Use a plug-in timer to turn off your air conditioner whenyou leave home.
76. Use a room air conditioner with fan speed control. Thisallows faster cooling when needed and quieter, more efficientoperation at other times.
77. Install your room air conditioner in the window or area ofthe wall that is nearest to the middle of the space.
78. Once a room air conditioner is in place, seal the spaceround it with rope caulk or some other sealantto prevent outside air leaks.
79. When you first turn on your room air conditioner, set thethermostat at normal or medium. Setting it any colder won’tcool the room any faster.
80. Locate your room air conditioner on the shady side of yourhome. It will operate more efficiently in a cooler location.
81. Make sure the fresh-air vent is closed when the room airconditioner is operating so you aren’t cooling outside air. Openthe vent when the outside air is cooler to let in fresh air.
82. Take your room air conditioner out of the window when thecooling season is over. Cover the outside of the unit with aweatherproof cover and fill any cracks around the unit withremovable caulk if you leave it in place.Heating83. Select an energy- efficient furnace model by looking for anAFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating of 90% or greater.
84. Clean your furnace filters monthly or replace if necessary.A clean unit runs more efficiently.
85. Consider switching to a natural gas heating system. Naturalgas is less expensive than other heating fuels.
86. Insulate your attic to an R-value of 38 for a gas-heatedhome and 50 for an electrically heated home and your walls toan R-value of 19.
87. Weather-strip or caulk areas of noticeable leaks aroundwindows and doors.
88. In the winter, set your thermostat at 60° when you aresleeping or gone and 68° when you are at home. This can save10 percent or more on your heating bills.89. If you are going to be away for an extended period of time,turn your thermostat down to save energy .
90. Let the sun in. The sun’s energy can have a noticeableeffect on the temperature in your home, especially fromwindows facing south and west.91. A portable space heater can heat a single room withoutusing your furnace to heat the whole house.
92. Many older natural fireplaces are inefficient and draw moreheat out of the house than they produce. Close the flue toeliminate drafts.93. If you use your fireplace often, consider using fireplaceinserts, doors or covers to help reduce the heat loss in yourhome when using the fireplace.94. If you are building a home, replacing heating equipment or
94. If you are building a home, replacing heating equipment orremodeling, talk to your heating contractor about the optionsavailable to ensure proper air flow.
95. Purchase Energy Star windows.Fans96. Use fans with your air conditioner.97. In hot weather, set the ceiling fan direction to blow air down.
98. Use a whole-house fan. These fans are mounted in the atticand ventilate your entire home. Be sure to open some windowsbefore turning on a whole-house fan.99. Keep your fan in good working order. Check themanufacturer’s recommendations for care and maintenance asthis helps control the operating costs.Office
100. Look for Energy Star office equipment, such ascomputers, printers and fax machines. They use less energythan standard office equipment.
101. Don’t let the computer run all day. Only power on thecomputer, monitor, printer and fax machine when you needthem.