QUICK AND EASY TIPS
Turn down the thermostat on your electric water heater.
Each 10 degrees reduction in water temperature generally saves 3 to 5 percent on water heating costs.
1. Turn off the electricity to the electric water heater at the main electrical panel.
2. Remove the water heater thermostat covers.
3. Use a screwdriver to reset both top and bottom thermostats to 120 degrees, the optimum temperature for water heating comfort and efficiency. (Set to 140 degrees if you have an automatic dishwasher that does not preheat its own water — but be aware that 140 degree water can scald.)
4. Replace the insulation and the thermostat panel covers and restore power.
Fix leaky hot water faucets.
Fixtures vary so check handyman guides or your hardware supplier to confirm steps.
1. Turn off the water to the faucet.
2. Remove the faucet handle. (The screw may be hidden under a cap.)
3. Remove the packing nut by turning it counterclockwise with a wrench, and pull out the spindle and washer.
4. Replace the worn washer (it'll look flat, misshapen and hard). Always use a brass screw to install washer.
5. Reassemble and turn the water back on.
Install high performance, water-saving shower heads.
1. Wrap a cloth around the joint of the old shower head and pipe.
2. Gently unscrew the shower head with a wrench.
3. Following package instructions, apply pipe compound or Teflon tape to pipe threads. Screw the water-saving showerhead on to the pipe until it fits snugly. Do not overtighten.
Check furnace filters every three months and replace when dirty.
Check your furnace owner's manual to determine the location and size of replacement filters that you need. The size will also be indicated on the old filter.
1. Simply slide the old filter out and the new filter in.
2. If your furnace filter is reusable, clean and replace .
Turn down home-heating thermostats at night.
1. Exercise careful thermostat control. It's a matter of personal preference, but 68 degrees during the day and 55 at night is recommended.
2. If you have a heat pump, turn the thermostat down no more than 10 degrees at night.
Install exterior wall switch and outlet gaskets to prevent air loss and infiltration.
1. Make sure the power is off to any electrical outlet or switch you are working on.
2. Remove the cover plate with a screwdriver
3. Insert gasket per instructions.
4. Replace cover plate and restore power at breaker.
Don't let the hot water run while shaving.
Talk about money down the drain. Fill up the sink, plug and shave. Or, try an electric shaver to save money (either the battery or plug-in type).
Dust light bulbs and fixtures.
This simple step can greatly improve the light bulb or fixture's efficiency.
Use fans instead of the air conditioner in warm weather, when you can do so without sacrificing comfort.
Caulk and seal holes in exterior walls.
1. Check around plumbing pipes, telephone wires, exhaust fans, dryer vents, sink and bathtub drains, around fireplaces, and under countertops for small holes and cracks.
2. Use expanding foam or a caulk gun to seal holes
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
1. Take an inventory of your home's lighting needs for size and wattage requirements.
2. Purchase compact fluorescent light bulbs as your budget allows.
Make cents of lighting.
Check around your house to see if some small changes in your lighting can help you save energy.
• It takes two 60 or four 40-watt light bulbs to provide as much light as one 100-watt light bulb.
• Use the lowest wattage light bulb to accomplish the task at hand. In other words, don't use a 100-watt light bulb when a 60-watt will do.
• Whatever light bulb you use, be careful not to exceed the manufacturer's recommended wattage for the fixture.
• Use task lighting where possible.
• Remember, lights off when you leave the room!
Clean up on energy savings with your clothes washer.
Use the cold or warm wash/cold rinse option on your washing machine.
Wash full loads.
Buying a new clothes washer? Horizontal-axis washers use less water and energy than standard top loading models.
Serve up savings with your dish washer!
Run full dishwasher loads.
Use the "energy saver" selection on your dishwasher.
Air dry dishes when you can (unless your home has mold or mildew problems).
Dishwashers use less water than hand washing.
Give your refrigerator coils a clean sweep.
Clean the condenser coils behind or under your refrigerator several times a year. This will keep your fridge — one of the top energy-using appliances in the house — running efficiently. Use a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush to remove dust
Keep a cool fridge.
Don't keep your fridge too cold. Recommended: 37 to 40 degrees for fresh food and 5 degrees in the freezer section. Regularly defrost. Check for gaps in your refrigerator door seals. Make sure they close tightly. If they don't, replace them. If purchasing a new refrigerator, look for a model with the EnergyStar label.
Close fireplace and wood stove dampers when not in use.
Warmed air rises . . . right up an open chimney. It's like leaving a four-foot window in your home wide open
Freeze in some savings.
Defrost your freezer before frost builds beyond one-quarter inch.
A full freezer performs better than one nearly empty.
Freezer temps: Between 0 and 5 degrees. Keeping temperatures lower increases energy use
Don't dally at the door.
Take care not to linger at the refrigerator, freezer or oven with the door open. Losing all that cooled or heated air costs you money! The same goes for your home entry doors.
Written by: Portland General Electric
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