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ENERGY EFFICIENCY TIPS

ENERGY EFFICIENCY TIPS

Reduce your electric bill with these simple tips.

Maintain

  • Have your heating system checked to make sure it is in top condition. Check your furnace filter once a month and change it when it is dirty.
  • Drain a bucket of hot water from the faucet at the base of your water heater several times a year. This will reduce sediment buildup and make the heating elements last longer.
  • Clean your clothes dryer lint filters after each load. Check dryer exhaust ducts for leaks or plugging and make sure they’re vented outside. If your dryer has a moisture sensor, use it to automatically turn off the unit when clothes are dry.
  • Check gaskets around refrigerators and freezers by closing the door on a piece of paper. If it pulls out with little or no drag, the seal probably needs to be replaced. Keep the condenser coils cleaned, and the “toe grill” at front unobstructed.

Best Practices

  • If you’re going away for the weekend during the heating season, lower the thermostat to 60°F. Also, lower the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees at night. A programmable thermostat does this automatically and will pay for itself quickly.
  • Close doors and shut off vents to rooms not being used. For electric baseboard or ceiling cable systems, turn the thermostat way down.
  • Insulate heating ducts, especially those that run through crawl spaces or other unheated areas.
  • Take shorter, not-so-hot showers. Normally, showers use less water than baths.
  • Set your water heater at 120°F.
  • Run your clothes washer or dishwasher only for full loads.
  • A dishwasher uses more energy to dry dishes than to wash them. Use the “energy saver” switch on your dishwasher. This usually shuts off the drying element.
  • Cover all liquids stored in your refrigerator. Moisture drawn into the air makes the refrigerator work harder.
  • Place refrigeration appliances away from heating equipment, vents and direct sunlight. Provide adequate space on all sides, and above, for ventilation. If you have a freezer or extra refrigerator, place them in a basement or other conditioned space, as opposed to a garage, where the unit will work much harder in warmer months.
  • Turn off all appliances, TVs, lights and radios when not in use.
  • New energy-efficient lighting gives more light for less energy. An 18-watt compact fluorescent tube gives you more light than a 60-watt bulb at one-quarter the energy cost. Energy-efficient bulbs cost more initially, but are far less expensive in the long run.
  • Use the proper appliance for the job. Microwave, convection and toaster ovens are often quicker and more economical to use than an electric range.

ADDITIONAL ENERGY RESOURCES & TIPS