Sunday, November 16, 2008

Energy Saving Tips

Free and Low Cost Recommendations

Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and save 75% of lighting costs.

Unplug electronics, battery chargers and other equipment when not in use. Taken together, these small items can use as much power as your refrigerator.

Take steps to cut water use such as installing faucet aerators, low-flow showerheads, and low-flush toilets. As much as 19% of California electricity is used to pump, transport and treat water.

A 5° higher setting on your air conditioning thermostat will save about 10% on cooling costs.

Always buy ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and equipment - they're up to 40% more efficient. Find rebates and incentives in your area using our rebate finder.

Turn your water heater down to 120° or the "Normal" setting when home, and to the lowest setting when away. Water heating accounts for about 13% of home energy costs.

Reduce air conditioning costs by using fans, keeping windows and doors shut and closing shades during the day.

Turn off unnecessary lighting and use task or desktop lamps with CFLs instead of overhead lights.

Enable "power management" on all computers and make sure to turn them off at night.

A laptop computer uses up to 90% less energy than bigger desktop models.
When possible, wash clothes in cold water. About 90% of the energy use in a clothes washer goes to water heating.

Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when fully loaded. Fewer loads reduce energy and water use.

Make sure your dryer's outside vent is clear and clean the lint filter after every load. When shopping for a new dryer look for one with a moisture sensor that automatically shuts off when clothes are dry.

Test for air leaks by holding a lit incense stick next to windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing or weather stripping.

1 comment:

batticdoor said...

How To Reduce Your Energy Bills / Energy Conservation Begins at Home

Imagine leaving a window open all winter long -- the heat loss, cold drafts and wasted energy! If your home has a folding attic stair, a whole house fan or AC Return, a fireplace or a clothes dryer, that may be just what is occurring in your home every day.

These often overlooked sources of heat loss and air leakage can cause heat to pour out and the cold outside air to rush in -- costing you higher heating bills.

Air leaks are the largest source of heating and cooling loss in the home. Air leaks occur through the small cracks around doors, windows, pipes, etc. Most homeowners are well aware of the benefits caulk and weatherstripping provide to minimize heat loss and cold drafts.

But what can you do about the four largest “holes” in your home -- the folding attic stair, the whole house fan or AC return, the fireplace, and the clothes dryer? Here are some tips and techniques that can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these holes.

Attic Stairs

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add an attic stair cover. An attic stair cover provides an air seal, reducing the air leaks. Add the desired amount of insulation over the cover to restore the insulation removed from the ceiling.

Whole House Fans and AC Returns

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a whole house fan cover. Installed from the attic side, the whole house fan cover is invisible. Cover the fan to reduce heating and air-conditioning loss, remove it when use of the fan is desired.


A recent study showed that for many consumers, their heating bills may be more than $500 higher per winter due to the air leakage and wasted energy caused by fireplaces.

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a fireplace draftstopper. Available from Battic Door, a company known for their energy conservation products, a fireplace draftstopper is an inflatable pillow that seals the damper, eliminating any air leaks. The pillow is removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.

Clothes Dryer Exhaust Ducts

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a dryer vent seal. This will reduce unwanted air infiltration, and keep out pests, bees and rodents as well. The vent will remain closed unless the dryer is in use. When the dryer is in use, a floating shuttle rises to allow warm air, lint and moisture to escape.

If your home has a folding attic stair, a whole house fan, an AC return, a fireplace, and/or a clothes dryer, you can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these holes.

Mark D. Tyrol is a Professional Engineer specializing in cause and origin of construction defects. He developed several residential energy conservation products including an attic stair cover, an attic access door, and is the U.S. distributor of the fireplace draftstopper. To learn more visit