How to make inexpensive energy fixes!!!
Tip #1: Know Your Loads
The first step towards energy efficiency is to understand where the most energy is being consumed throughout the home and where your energy dollars are going. The quickest way to do this is to take a look at a years worth of energy bills. If you sign up for an account with your utility provider you can view your daily, monthly and annual usage. You can dig deeper and separate the quantity used for space or water heating, air conditioning, and other electrical loads.Learn to read your electric meter so you can figure out the quantity of energy you are using at that given time. Most utility companies also provide information on their websites about meter reading and other energy information.
Tip #2: Adopting Habits
Throughout the day, think about what appliances are in use, figure out what really needs to be used and when it has to be used. Set up a schedule for your major appliances, limit shower and TV watching times. You could also hang clothes to dry instead of using the dryer.
Tip #3: Take control
Take control of the quantity of energy you use during the day. The easiest way to start is by adjusting your thermostat to reduce your cooling and heating costs. You can use timer controls and occupancy sensors to turn on lights or other electrical components when you’re around and have them shut off when your away.
Tip #4: Plug into Power Strips
A “phantom load” occurs when an appliance that is plugged into an outlet appears to be off but is still consuming electricity. Some examples are appliances with clocks or indicator lights, remote controls, and plug in power adapters. An average of 1.2 kilowatt-hours are used per day due to phantom loads, plugging all electronics into a Power Strip or Surge Protector and then turning the Power Strip off when not is use will eliminate a “phantom load”.
Tip #5: Bright Lighting
Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFs). CFs provide the same level of lighting at about a quarter of the energy usage. Although the upfront cost is higher, the bulbs pay themselves off in energy savings. Please be sure to dispose of burned out CFs as hazardous waste because of the chemicals exposed when broken.
Tip #6: Seal Leaks and Fix Ducts
This same methodology that applies to appliances and electricity applies to air leaks in your home. The tighter and leak free you keep your home, the less fuel you’ll need to keep it cool or warm. Find and seal any air leaks such as: chimneys, window/door frames, garage doors, plumbing and electrical chases.
Tip #7: New views
Replace older single pane windows with double or triple glazed units that can save energy if they are installed to create greater air leakage control.
Tip #8: Energy Star
Energy star labels generally indicate a high level of efficiency for different classes of appliances, from furnaces and refridgerators to air conditioners as well as dishwashers. There are government funded rebates for Energy Star rated appliances that every homeowner can take advantage of.