Energy Efficiency Facts
Ways to Save
Ever wonder where it all goes? This chart breaks down the energy dollar for a typical, all-electric household.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Q. How well is my home insulated?
A. If you can see your ceiling joists, you need to increase the amount of insulation in your attic. Attic insulation should have at least an R-30 rating.
Q. How tight are my windows? Are they single pane?
A. Single pane windows should be replaced with double pane, Low E windows with a U value between .30 & .39.
Q. How efficient is my central heat & air conditioning unit?
A. Units that are 10-15 years old aren’t very energy efficient. In the cooling mode, energy efficiency is based on the unit’s SEER or EER. Anything greater than 10 is good, 12 is better. As of January 2006, the minimum requirement is a SEER 13. In the heating mode, look for the HSPF for heat pumps or COPS for geothermal systems. The higher the number, the more you will save.
Q. Am I throwing money out the window?
A. Complete a "do-it-yourself" Home Energy Audit at http://www.energyright.com and receive a free Energy Conservation Kit.
Summer – Heat from the sun through your windows adds to the cooling load of your home. Close drapes in East/West facing windows to block out high heat.
Winter – The sun sits lower in the sky during winter months. Heat gained through South facing windows is an advantage to warming your home. Windows that don’t receive sunlight will lose heat unless drapes are closed.
Heating and Cooling
• Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher in the summer and 68 degrees or lower in the winter.
• Get your heating and air conditioning unit serviced every year.
• Clean or replace air filters monthly.
• Invest in a programmable thermostat.
• Use a ceiling fan to circulate air down in the summer months.
• Use our Heat Pump Calculator and Cooling System Calculator to consider the savings potential of replacing your old unit with a new high efficiency system.
• Find out how much energy the appliances in your home use with our online Appliance Calculator. It can add up to about 20% of your total consumption.
• Take the dollar bill test. Close your refrigerator door on a dollar bill and then try to pull it out. If the dollar comes out easily you may need new seals or a new refrigerator.
• Plan what you need inside the refrigerator before you open the door.
• Set your fridge at 40 degrees.
• Let food cool before putting it in the refrigerator. Hot foods will raise the temperature in the fridge and make it work harder.
• Consider cooking outside on a grill during summer months. Using an oven makes your home hotter.
• Wash full loads of clothes and use cold water when possible.
• Don’t overload the dryer.
• Clean the dryer lint filter before each load.
• Don’t run the dishwasher unless it’s completely full.
• Use energy-efficient Compact Fluorescents (CFL). They cost more to purchase, but use one-quarter as much energy as incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. Calculate your savings with our Light Switch Calculator.
• Keep light fixtures and bulbs clean. Dust absorbs 50% of light.
• Turn off any unused lights.
Around the House
• Seal up leaks by weather-stripping doors and caulking windows.
• Close the fireplace damper when you aren’t using it.
• If your water heater is in an unheated space, wrap it in an insulation blanket to prevent it from losing heat.
• Turn the water heater off if you are going to be gone more than three days.
• Use less hot water by installing low flow showerheads.
• Repair leaky faucets. A drip can waste up to 48 gallons of water in one week.
• Landscaping can provide shade to your home and significantly reduce your cooling costs.