Home energy cash savers
Monday, November 19, 2012
A recent Associated Press poll shows that just four in 10 of those questioned think their actions can significantly affect the country’s energy problems. Since the national energy crisis may not be something most of us feel we can impact, let’s consider the money in our pockets.
Based on data from the U.S. Department of Energy, the average U.S. household will spend about $2,100 on home energy this year. To help you consume energy efficiently and cost effectively, here are the top 10 most simple yet effective home energy tips from the DOE:
1. Seal air leaks and properly insulate. This can reduce energy waste — saving up to 20 percent on heating and cooling bills — and increase home comfort.
2. Turn off all lights, appliances and electronics not in use. Sometimes the simplest things are really effective.
3. Use your window shades. Close blinds on the sunny side in summer, and open them in winter.
4. Use a programmable thermostat. When properly programmed, it can save up to 10 percent on cooling and heating costs.
5. Look for the Energy Star label, the government’s symbol of energy efficiency, on a wide range of consumer products to save up to 30 percent on related electricity bills.
6. Install new and improved light bulbs. Reduce energy use as much as 80 percent with today’s increasing number of energy-efficient halogen incandescent, compact fluorescents and LEDs.
7. Clean or change furnace filters regularly. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm.
8. Reduce water heater temperature to 130 degrees to save energy and money on heating water. Wrap the water storage tank in a specially-designed “blanket” to retain the heat.
9. Wash clothes in cold water to save an average of $63 a year.
10. Use low-flow faucets and shower heads to save on water bills.