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Monday
Jul092012

Energy Saving Tips

Space Heating and Cooling

In the winter:
* Turn your thermostat down to 68° daytime, 60° at bedtime and when leaving home.
* Clean or replace furnace filter every month.
* Keep vents clean and clear of furniture.
* Close vents and doors to unused rooms.
* Close fireplace dampers when not in use.
* Close the heat registers and shut the doors of unoccupied rooms.
* Seal leaky ducts.
* Remove window-mounted air conditioners each fall.
In general:
* Install a programmable thermostat
* Have your heating system serviced every two to three years by a HVAC professional.
* Make sure your fireplace is sealed when it's not being used.
* Consider weather-stripping, caulking and insulation to control air infiltration.
* Insulate air ducts that run through unheated basements, crawl spaces and attics.
* Consider a technical energy audit to help identify air leaks.
In the summer:
* Keep thermostat set at 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher if you have ceiling fans.
* Keep the house closed tight during the day and ventilate at night naturally or with fans.
* Use ceiling fans to increase comfort level.
* Delay heat-generating activities such as using a dishwasher or clothes dryer until evening on hot days (even better - skip the clothes dryer and hang your laundry outside to dry).
* Properly maintain air conditioners to maximize efficiency.
* If using central air conditioning, replace your furnace filter every month.
* Consider an evaporative cooler instead of an air conditioner. They work well in Colorado's climate and use one quarter of the energy.

Appliances

* Purchase ENERGY STAR appliances.
* Defrost refrigerators and freezers regularly.
* Line dry clothes whenever possible.
* Separate clothes and dry similar types together.
* Dry full loads, but be careful not to overload.
* Dry two or more loads in a row to take advantage of the heat still in the dryer from the first load.
* Clean the lint trap after every load.
* Cook food in covered pans and match burner size to size of pan.
* Dust or vacuum refrigerator and freezer coils at least once a year.
* Keep the top of your refrigerator uncluttered to allow for proper air circulation to the compressor.
* Maintain your refrigerator at three-quarters full to allow room for air to circulate around the food.
* Avoid holding the freezer or refrigerator door open unnecessarily.
* Allow hot food items to cool before putting them into the refrigerator or freezer.
* Cover foods and liquids because uncovered/items release moisture into the refrigerator compartment, increasing energy use.
* On electric stoves, use only flat-bottomed pans that make full contact with the heating coils.
* The temperature of the refrigerator compartment should be 36 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit; the temperature of the freezer compartment should be 0 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
* When purchasing new appliances, compare energy efficiency labels.

Home Electronics

* Consider purchasing computers and home office equipment that have low-energy settings.
* Purchase ENERGY STAR electronics when possible.
* Unplug electronic device chargers when not in use.
* Plug electronics into a surge protector and turn it off when not in use to avoid "phantom load" (the use of electricity even when turned off or in standby mode).

Lighting

* Turn out lights in unoccupied rooms.
* Keep light fixtures clean.
* Switch to energy-efficient bulbs.
* Take advantage of natural day lighting.
* Use motion sensors automatically turn off indoor lights when you leave a room. Motion sensors can also be used on outside lights.

Water Heating & Water Conservation

* Lower water heater temperature setting to "warm" or 120° F.
* Take shorter showers and install low-flow showerheads.
* Install faucet aerators.
* Wash laundry in cold water.
* Repair leaky faucets.
* Insulate your water heater.
* During the summer, water the lawn before dawn when evaporation is less likely.
* Use energy-saving cycles (no-heat or air-dry) on your dishwasher.
* Run the dishwasher only when it's full but not overloaded.
* Scrape dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
* Wash clothing when you have a full load or adjust the water setting for the appropriate load size.
* Avoid purchasing bottled water. Refill a reusable bottle instead.
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