EcoMall


SAVE ENERGY, SAVE MONEY

Why Develop Power$marts?

Available technology can plug major energy leaks. The average household in the U.S. spends about $1,300 each year on home energy, according to DOE. What if you could save up to a third or half of that using the tips in this booklet? You could go away for a fabulous long weekend, see 40 movies with a friend, save for college, or buy the latest video games, attire, and those cool shoes.

Why Develop Energy Consciousness?

The energy use of two families living in two homes that are EXACTLY alike can vary by 100 percent -- which means that how you use what’s in your home can double (or halve) your energy bills.

Overall Power$marts Tip

Look for the Energy Star label, the symbol for energy efficiency, when buying home and office products. Qualifying energy efficiency levels are set by EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for heating and cooling equipment, windows, major appliances, computers and other office equipment, lighting fixtures, new homes, and some consumer electronics.

Households that replace existing equipment with Energy Star products can cut annual energy bills by 30 percent.

IS YOUR HOME LEAKING ENERGY DOLLARS?

Perhaps your home wasn’t built using today’s high-quality, energy-efficient products or techniques. Perhaps previous occupants never took take care of problems -- and your heating and cooling bills are higher than you’d like. Where might energy be flowing from your home?

It might be going out the window -- literally. The average home has enough leaks around its windows and doors to equal one open three foot by three foot window! Check your home’s first line of defense against the elements -- the roof, walls, floors, windows, and doors. It pays to deal with air leaks first to get the maximum savings from your heating and cooling systems and other energy-efficiency measures.

Power$marts Tips

Appropriate insulation for your climate (based on R-ratings) can increase your comfort and reduce your heating and cooling costs up to 30 percent. Start with attic insulation, followed by exterior and basement walls, floors, and crawl spaces.

If you’re shopping for new windows, glass doors, or skylights, look for the Energy Star label. Today’s high-efficiency windows are three to four times more energy efficient than windows commonly installed 10 years ago. Special low-e (emissivity) or spectrally-selective (solar control) coatings greatly reduce the amount of heat that flows through glass so there isn’t as much heat lost in winter or gained in summer.

Energy Consciousness Tips

Find and plug those leaks. Just wet your fingertips and run them around the door or window frame to feel a draft -- or hold up a tissue and see if it waves. Seal leaks between moving parts (between door and its frame) with weatherstripping. Fill leaks between non-moving parts (between window frame and wall) with caulking.

Install storm windows or double-paned windows if you only have single-pane windows. If you have older or leaky windows that you can’t replace, consider temporary fixes, such as plastic films kits that create the effect of an interior storm window, or low-e retrofit film.

It’s A Fact: Double-pane windows with low-e coating can reduce heating bills by 34 percent in cold climates compared to uncoated, single-pane windows. In hot climates, spectrally selective low-e windows can cut cooling costs by 38 percent.

KEEPING YOUR C-O-O-O-L

our thermostat controls the heating and cooling system that consumes more than half of the energy in your home -- the biggest chunk of your family’s energy budget. How much of that energy is used to keep your house comfortable when no one is home or everyone is asleep? Probably a lot, if you don’t adjust the thermostat when you leave the house or go to bed.

Introducing the programmable thermostat! It automatically coordinates the temperature of your home with your daily and weekly (weekend) patterns -- so you don’t have to awaken to a chilly bedroom in winter or come home to a stuffy house in summer. Once you make the settings, you don’t have to adjust the thermostat again.

Power$marts Tips

When adding a programmable thermostat or replacing a furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump, look for the Energy Star label. You can get additional information from the yellow EnergyGuide label to compare every model in a category, its capacity, and estimated yearly energy cost.

Energy Star geothermal heat pumps use the constant temperature of the earth to efficiently transfer heat to the home in winter or cool air to the home in summer. They require adequate land and up front expenditure.

Energy Consciousness Tips

When adjusting the thermostat by hand, remember that the house will not warm up or cool down any faster if you crank up the thermostat past the desired temperature. Besides, it is easy to forget to turn it back down, which will waste energy dollars.

If you have a heat pump, dramatically turning up the heat by hand is costly because it may trigger the inefficient backup heater, which is most often electric, eating up any savings from reducing the thermostat. (A programmable thermostat designed for heat pumps will gradually raise the heat without activating the backup heat.)

Clean or replace furnace and air conditioner filters once a month during heating/cooling season.

It’s A Fact

Rule of thumb for thermostat savings: For each degree you lower your thermostat in winter, you can save about 3 percent on your heating bill. An Energy Star furnace could save $1,700 relative to an old furnace, or $1,000 over the lifetime of a standard new furnace.

LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE

From 10 to 13 percent of the average home’s electricity costs can be controlled with the flip of a switch -- a light switch. You don’t want to live in the dark, so how can you light the house more efficiently?

A good solution: Compact fluorescent bulbs have improved tremendously since first introduced. They have become smaller, cheaper, brighter, and offer improved color quality.

Power$marts Tips

Replace all light fixtures and bulbs that operate four or more hours a day with ones that use fluorescent bulbs to save money and energy. Use lumens -- the amount of light produced -- to compare lights. For example, a 23-watt fluorescent bulb produces about the same number of lumens as a 100-watt incandescent. Your investment will generally pay for itself in a couple of years.

Enlightening Comparisons 

Here’s a simple comparison for two types of bulbs giving off the same amount of light and burning for four hours per day for three years (4,380 hours). You’ll go through six incandescent bulbs during this period, while the compact fluorescent will still have another 3.8 years of life left.

INCANDESCENT vs.
COMPACT FLUORESCENT BULB

Bulb Type

100W Incandescent

23W Compact Fluorescent

Purchase Price $0.75 $11.00
Life of the Bulb 750 hours 10,000 hours
Number of Hours Burned per Day 4 hours 4 hours
Number of Bulbs Needed  about 6 over 3 years 1 over 6.8 years
Total Cost of Bulbs $4.50 $11.00
Lumens 1,690 1,500
Total Cost of Electricity (8 cents/kilowatt-hour) $35.04 $8.06
Your Total Cost over 3 years $39.54 $19.06

 

Total Savings over three years with the Compact Fluorescent: $20.50

Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration

It’s A Fact

If every household in the U.S. switched to Energy Star light fixtures, we could save 70 billion kilowatt-hours and prevent 100 billion pounds of CO2 per year -- equivalent to removing 10 million cars from the road!

Energy Consciousness Tips

Let “Mother Nature” light your home. Sunlight is brighter than a multitude of light bulbs, and it’s free.
Don’t like coming home to a dark house? Instead of leaving lights on, put timers on a few of the lights in your home, or install motion detectors on exterior flood lights to improve your home security. After you get inside, the sensor will “remember” to turn the lights off.

 

ENLIGHTENING WARNING! 

Halogen torchiere lamps have grown in popularity. Although relatively inexpensive to purchase, they are expensive to operate and very inefficient. The halogen bulbs in these lamps operate at temperatures much hotter than regular bulbs and can CAUSE FIRES, warns the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Consider a safe Energy Star torchiere.

HOME COOKING

You need to eat, right? The kitchen uses a big chunk of your home energy budget. Your refrigerator alone -- which is on 24 hours a day -- accounts for about 15 percent of the total home electricity bill, or about 10 percent of the average home energy bill. So where can you apply energy efficiency in the kitchen?

Power$marts Tips

Shopping for a major appliance before it breaks down gives you the best chance to find a higher efficiency model with the features you want. The typical refrigerator sold in 1996 has more features yet uses about half the electricity of a comparable model sold in 1980. However, there still remains a wide range in efficiency between models. Choose appliances with the Energy Star label to ensure efficiency.

Energy Conscious Tips Buy a new fridge that is the right size for your needs to avoid wasting energy cooling nothing.

Use a microwave or toaster oven to cook small portions and a conventional oven or stove-top for larger items.

A watched pot will eventually boil -- but putting a lid on it reduces cooking time and energy use. Also, match the pot size to burner size to avoid energy waste.

It’s A Fact

Refrigerators in the U.S. alone use the equivalent of the output of more than 20 large nuclear power plants. If all the nation’s households used the most efficient refrigerators, electricity savings would eliminate the need for about 10 large power plants.

COMING CLEAN

From tumblers to tutus, there’s no shortage of washing to do around the home, all of which takes energy. Just making hot water uses about 14 percent of your home energy budget.

Many new innovations save energy in the cleaning department. One of the simplest and least expensive is a low-flow shower head -- a familiar technology that has improved from earlier versions. It can cut your shower water use in half while maintaining the same pressure as before.

Power$marts Tips

If you are in the market for new appliances, look for these efficient, energy-saving features:

Dishwashers that turn off the heating element and circulate air from outside the washer for drying.

Clothes dryers that have moisture sensors that turn off the unit when the clothes are dry.

Horizontal axis (front loading) washers that use less water and energy to get clothes as clean as conventional washers.

Energy Consciousness Tips

Set your hot water heater thermostat at 120 degrees (or “low”). It’s hot enough for most needs -- including dishwashers, which are generally made with booster heaters -- and it cuts down on energy needed to keep water hot in the tank.

Wrap your hot water tank in an insulating “blanket” if it feels warm to the touch.

Use warm or cold water for laundry when possible, rinse in cold, and wash when you have full loads. Today’s cold water detergents do a good job.

TOO "PLUGGED IN"

The economic boom in our consumer-oriented society, the growth of new technologies, and the changing workforce -- more people working from home -- have dramatically increased the number of products that require power in the average home. Some of today’s homes sport multiple computers, printers, faxes, TVs, VCRs, CD players, and hair dryers.

Computer equipment is the fastest growing electric load in the world. In fact, energy use by computers could double by the year 2000. Unfortunately, much of the energy for computers is wasted because they are often kept on while not in use.

Furthermore, most idle appliances -- TVs, VCRs, cable boxes, CD players, cassette decks, cordless phones, burglar alarms, microwaves -- continue to consume energy when switched off. This energy keeps display clocks lit and memory chips and remote controls working. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory calculates that these energy “leaks” account for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption, cost more than $3 billion annually, and spew 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

Idle TVs and VCRs alone cost U.S. consumers more than $1 billion a year, or some $30 per household. Emissions from power plants supplying that electricity are equal to the pollution caused by 2 million cars! New technology in TVs and VCRs bearing the Energy Star label will reduce wasted energy by up to 75 percent.

Power$marts Tips

Activate your Energy Star “sleep” feature on home office equipment (PC, fax, printer, scanner) -- so that it automatically powers down when not in use to save up to $70 annually in electricity bills and improve product longevity.

Energy Consciousness Tip

Turning off your computer during long periods of non-use cuts costs and improves longevity.

It’s A Fact

Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity you avoid using saves more than 11-1/2 pounds of CO2 from being pumped into the atmosphere. If over the next 15 years, Americans bought only Energy Star products, we would shrink our energy bills by more than $100 billion and eliminate as much greenhouse gas pollution as is produced by 17 million cars for each of those 15 years!

Click below to e-mail this article to a friend
or to post a link on your favorite sites.
Thank you! Bookmark and Share

Written by: Alliance To Save Energy


RELATED LINKS:




Shop by Keywords Above or by Categories Below.

AIR PURIFICATION AROMATHERAPY BABIES
BEDDING BIRDING BODY CARE
BOOKS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS
CAMPING CATALOGUES CLASSIFIEDS
CLEANING PRODUCTS CLOTHING COMPUTER PRODUCTS
CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANTS CRAFTS
ECO KIDS ECO TRAVEL EDUCATION
ENERGY CONSERVATION ENERGY EFFICIENT HOMES ENGINEERING
FITNESS-YOGA FLOWERS FOODS
FOOTWEAR FURNITURE GARDEN
GIFTS HARDWARE HEMP
HERBS HOUSEHOLD INDUSTRY
INVESTMENTS JEWELRY LIGHTING
MAGAZINES MUSIC NATURAL HEALTH
NATURAL PEST CONTROL NEW AGE OFFICE
OUTDOORS PAPER PETS
PROMOTIONAL RESOURCES RECYCLED SAFE ENVIRONMENTS
SEEKING CAPITAL SHELTERS SOLAR-WIND
TOYS TRANSPORTATION VIDEOS
VITAMINS WATER WEATHER
WHOLESALE WOOD HOW TO ADVERTISE

 Green Living Magazine
Updated Daily!

* * * IN-HOUSE RESOURCES * * *
WHAT'S NEW ACTIVISM ALERTS DAILY ECO NEWS
LOCAL RESOURCES DATABASE ASK THE EXPERTS ECO CHAT
ECO FORUMS ARTICLES ECO QUOTES
INTERVIEWS & SPEECHES NON-PROFIT GROUPS ECO LINKS
KIDS LINKS RENEWABLE ENERGY GOVERNMENT/EDUCATION
VEGGIE RESTAURANTS ECO AUDIO/VIDEO EVENTS
COMMUNICATIONS WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ACCOLADES
AWARDS E-MAIL MAILING LIST


EcoMall