Patricia Parnell shares with us her article, from the Parkwood Homeowners Newsletter, for saving energy at home.
Planning ahead can save you money and alleviate frustration with high utility bills. Here are some tips to protect your hard earned dollars.
· Remove window air conditioners for winter , if it cannot be removed, weatherize with a properly fitted cover
· Keep all vents (AC, heating) free from debris
· Replace Screens with storm glass
· Replace heat filters monthly
· Do not block vents with furniture
· Save 10% on energy costs when you install weather-stripping or caulk leaky doors and windows and install gaskets behind outlet covers
· Leave your thermostat at one temperature (around 77) and leave it alone when running the AC. It takes more energy to heat or cool an area than it does to maintain a constant temp
· In winter, set your thermostat about 68. For every degree you lower your heat, you save up to 5% in heating costs. At night turn heat down to 55 but never below 50.
· Open window coverings in the daytime to let the sun heat your home and close them at sundown to insulate.
· Rearrange your furniture so you are sitting by interior walls. The temperature is more constant on interior walls.
· Close doors to other parts of the house and turn down the thermostat when using the fireplace.
· Remember that fireplaces lose up to 8% of your energy. Keep damper closed when not in use.
· Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. They use 75% less energy.
· Turn kitchen and bathroom ventilating fans off after use.
· A 2nd Refrigerator can add as much as 10-15% to your energy bill.
· Only use your self-cleaning feature when your oven is already hot.
· Drain a bucketful of water from the water heater several times a year to protect against mineral build-up.
· Use cold water to wash clothes and reduce the washer's energy use by 75%.