It’s that time of year when the furnace is cranked up and the Christmas lights shine bright. Have you been unhappy with your energy bills the past few months?
Here are 35 energy saving tips that will keep you warm and happy this winter.
1| Cover all bare floors. Carpeting or rugs add to comfort and heat retention, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
2| Set your thermostat to 68-70 degrees during the day in the winter, and 65-68 degrees at night to keep your home comfortable and save on heating costs.
3| Close the flue in your fireplace and install glass doors to keep in the warm air.
4| Limit your use of portable heaters. They’re great for “spot” heating, but running a 1,500-watt heater 24/7 can be expensive.
5| Don’t block air vents with drapes and furniture.
6| Get an energy-efficient heat pump and you could cut your heating costs in half. Duke Energy Progress offers rebates up to $300 to help you upgrade.
7| Change the filters in your heating system every month for optimum efficiency.
8| Give your air compressor space to work efficiently. Never stack anything against your HVAC or drape anything over it.
9| Close interior doors and vents to rooms that aren’t being used.
10| Set your thermostat to 60 degrees if going on vacation during the winter months, but don’t turn it off.
11| Heat your home with the sun’s help. Leave window shades or blinds open during the daytime. And consider using solar heat to supplement your normal heating source.
12| Lower your thermostat every time you leave the house.
13| Replace standard bulbs with CFLs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are more energy-efficient than regular bulbs, while giving off the same amount of light.
14| Use motion-detector lights for all your outdoor lighting – they’re convenient and efficient.
15| Select light-colored or opaque lamp shades. Place lamps in corners so they reflect light from two walls.
16| Use microwaves and toaster ovens to cook or warm leftovers. You’ll use less energy than cooking with a conventional oven.
17| Set your refrigerator temperature between 30 and 42°F. Use the power-save switch if you have one.
18| Dust your fridge the next time you dust your house. Check the coils behind the refrigerator — and use coil vacuums or dusters to clean it off and keep costs down.
19| Keep your freezer full – it uses less energy than an empty one. For maximum savings, consider filling your freezer with gallon containers of water.
20| Wash and dry several loads at once, so that your dryer isn’t completely cooled down when it heats up for the next load.
21| Avoid over-drying your clothes. It wastes energy, plus causes static and wrinkling.
22| Wash full loads of clothes when possible. When smaller loads are necessary, use less water.
23| Hang dress clothing to air dry on portable laundry racks; they will also look better.
24| Clean the dryer lint filter before every load to keep your dryer running efficiently.
25| Set your dishwashers on economy mode, to use less water and electricity.
26| Turn off your dishwasher after the wash cycle — and let your dishes air-dry. You’ll save energy and keep your dishwasher from heating up your kitchen.
27| Match your pot size to the burner on your stove. Heat is lost when small pots are used on large burners. 28| Turn off kitchen and bath fans immediately after use.
29| Always wash with cold water, laundry detergent works just as well, and you’ll save 40 cents per load.
30| Turn off your water heater until if you plan on leaving home for a few days. And you get back. Most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour.
31| Shorten those showers to cut hot water costs.
32| Reduce your water heater temperature setting from 140 degrees to 120 degrees — it will save you money while keeping water hot enough for showers and cleaning dishes.
33| Plug electronics into a power strip, then turn the strip off when not in use to save in energy costs.
34| Set your computer to sleep or hibernate mode instead of using a screen saver so it uses less electricity during periods of inactivity.
35| Avoid energy vampires. Even when they’re turned off, home electronics in “standby” mode use energy to power features like clock displays.
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