ENERGY CONSERVATION TIPS
the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings by the American Council
for an Energy-Efficient Economy
CHECKLIST FOR ACTION
To Do Today
- Turn down
the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F).
You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
- Check if
your water heater has an insulating blanket. An insulating blanket
will pay for itself in one year or less!
- Start using
energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines,
and clothes dryers.
- Survey your
incandescent lights for opportunities to replace them with compact
fluorescents. These new lamps can save three-quarters of the electricity
used by incandescents. The best targets are 60-100W bulbs used several
hours a day. Measure the clearance in the fixtures to make sure they
will accommodate compact fluorescents, which are slightly bigger than
- Check the
age and condition of your major appliances, especially the refrigerator.
You may want to replace it with a more energy-efficient model before
- Clean or
replace furnace, air-conditioner, and heat-pump filters.
- Visit the
hardware store. Buy a water-heater blanket, low-flow showerheads,
faucet aerators, and compact fluorescents, as needed. If you can't
find compact fluorescents locally, check out ENERGYguide or Energy
- Rope caulk
very leaky windows.
your heating and cooling systems. Determine if replacements are justified,
or whether you should retrofit them to make them work more efficiently
to provide the same comfort (or better) for less energy.
your utility bills. Separate electricity and fuel bills. Target the
biggest bill for energy conservation remedies.
- Crawl into
your attic or crawlspace and inspect for insulation. Is there any?
hot water pipes and ducts wherever they run through unheated areas.
- Seal up
the largest air leaks in your housethe ones that whistle on
windy days, or feel drafty. The worst culprits are usually not windows
and doors, but utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumping penetrations"),
gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and
unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Better yet, hire an
energy auditor with a blower door to point out where the worst cracks
are. All the little, invisible cracks and holes may add up to as much
as an open window or door, without you ever knowing it!
a clock thermostat to set your thermostat back automatically at night.
an energy audit (ask your utility company or state energy office)
for more expert advice on your home as a whole.
If your walls aren't insulated have an insulation contractor blow
cellulose into the walls. Bring your attic insulation level up to
aging, inefficient appliances. Even if the appliance has a few useful
years left, replacing it with a top-efficiency model is generally
a good investment.
leaky windows. It may be time to replace them with energy-efficient
models or to boost their efficiency with weatherstripping and storm
your air conditioning costs by planting shade trees and shrubs around
your houseespecially on the west side.
- Know that
you are making a difference!
Written by: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
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