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Use Less Energy At Home

  1. General tips
  2. Water heating tips
  3. Lighting
  4. Kitchen
  5. General household
  6. Appliances

General Tips

  • Lower the temperature on your electric water heater to 120 (F) degrees. Turn it off when leaving or extended periods of time. Electric water heaters can be set on timers; gas heaters must be set manually.
  • Set refrigerator temperatures between 37 and 40 degrees (F). Clean the coils. Keep the refrigerator stocked; it takes more energy to cool an empty refrigerator.
  • Consider replacing your older model refrigerator, especially if older than 10 years. Older models can often use over 3 times the energy of newer models.
  • When washing clothes, use warm or cold water and rinse with cold. Air dry clothes, but not indoors as this creates unwanted mold and moisture problems.
  • Shut off lights, computers and other electronic appliances when you’re not using them. Many computer monitors have a sleep mode setting which, when activated, greatly reduces energy consumption.
  • Use a microwave or toaster oven for smaller items.
  • Examine and adjust, if necessary, weather stripping, door sweeps, and thresholds.

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Water Heating Tips

  • Use low flow fixtures/faucet aerators.
  • Don't let hot water run when shaving, doing dishes, etc. 
  • Do only full loads of wash.
  • Use cold or warm water wash instead of hot to save.
  • Water heating accounts for as much as 20 percent of your utility bill. Insulate the hot water tank to reduce heat loss and save energy. 
  • Gradually turn down the temperature on the hot water heater until you just barely run out of hot water. Then, turn it back up just a notch for comfort. 
  • Fix leaky faucets. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons a month - that's more than one person uses in two weeks.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath and you'll use less hot water.
  • An old hot water heater builds up deposits inside and becomes less efficient. Install a new energy efficient, well-insulated hot water heater.
  • An effective energy saving tip is to compare the Energy Guide labels before buying a new hot water heater.
  • Don't replace the hot water heater with a bigger one than you really need. Select the proper size to save energy. 
  • When your old hot water heater breaks, replace it with a tankless model 
  • One of the little-known ways to save energy is to drain a quart of water from your hot water tank every few months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers its efficiency.

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Lighting

  • Lighting accounts for about 15 percent of a typical residential utility bill. So, turn off the lights when not in use.
  • Electric lighting also adds extra heat to a space that must be cooled by air conditioning in the summer. 
  • Recessed can lights typically use 75- or 100-watt incandescent floodlight bulbs. Replace them with 50-watt halogen floodlight bulbs to enjoy a 30 to 50 percent energy savings - and improve the quality of the light. 
  • To improve energy efficiency even more, replace the incandescent light bulbs in your home with energy saving compact fluorescent lamps. 
  • Under-the-counter fluorescent lights in the kitchen give great energy savings. Most of the time, you can get by using them alone. 
  • Install dimmer switches to save energy and extend the life of light bulbs 
  • Removing one light bulb from your garage door opener is a creative energy saving tip. 
  • For more energy efficiency, remove both light bulbs from your garage door opener and replace the garage wall light switch with a motion sensor control. The light will come on when someone enters the garage and go off more quickly, automatically. 
  • Install low-voltage lighting for outside illumination. 
  • For outdoor security lights, install lights with motion detectors so they only come on when needed.

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Kitchen

  • Look for the Energy Star label for when buying home appliances.
  • Use energy saving products such as small electric pans or toaster ovens to cook small meals instead of heating your large stove or oven. 
  • Save considerable energy by using your microwave oven and pressure cooker whenever possible. They cook quickly using less energy. 
  • Foods and vegetables will take less time to cook if they are cut into small pieces. 
  • Foods will cook faster and use less energy if you put lids on the pots and pans and make sure they're the right size for the burner. 
  • Preheat the oven only when the recipe calls for it. There's no need to preheat the broiler. 
  • Save energy by baking an extra dish or cooking entire meals in the oven at the same time. 
  • When you open the oven door to peek at food inside you lose 25-75 degrees of heat. Look through the oven window or wait until the food is almost done before opening the door. 
  • If you have a self-cleaning oven, clean it immediately after use. Because it's already hot, it will take less energy to get to the heat cleaning stage. 
  • Let hot foods cool on the counter before putting them in your refrigerator or freezer. Hot foods cause the unit to work longer and harder. 
  • If cold air is escaping around the refrigerator door seal, adjust or replace the seal. To check, close the door on a dollar bill. If it's easy to pull out, cold air is escaping. 
  • Remove old items from the refrigerator regularly, so you don't waste electricity keeping them cold all the time. 
  • Set the temperature in your refrigerator between 35 and 38 degrees F. 
  • Keep the temperature on the freezer between 0 and 5 degrees F. 
  • Turn off the "heat dry" feature of your dishwasher. Then, when the load is finished open the door and let the dishes air-dry on their own. 
  • Run the dishwasher only with a full load. 
  • Using the garbage disposal less and the garbage can more is a good energy saving tip.

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General Household

  • Turn off the TV, VCR, stereo or radio when not in use.
  • Turning off the water when brushing teeth or shaving. 
  • Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket or ashtray - it wastes water every time you flush it. 
  • Activate the "sleep" feature of your home office equipment (PC, fax, printer, scanner, monitor) so they automatically power down when not in use. 
  • Turn off your home office equipment when not in use. 
  • Purchase a good selection of high-quality rechargeable batteries and a charging unit. You'll save money in the long run and keep hazardous materials out of our environment.

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Appliances

  • Reduce the number of hours your equipment is left running unnecessarily. TVs, computers, monitors, printers, copiers and scanners should be turned off if they are not needed.
  • Avoid leaving transformers and charging units for appliances and battery-operated devices (e.g cell phones, tools) on when they are not being used.
  • Use your microwave oven as much as possible in the summer rather than your regular oven. You'll stay cooler and save energy.
  • Defrost your refrigerator's freezer regularly so it can operate more efficiently.
  • Use the right temperature setting for your refrigerator and freezer. Keeping foods colder than necessary costs more and rarely pays off in extended shelf life.
  • Vacuum and clean the condenser coils, motor and evaporater pan of your refrigerator once or twice a year.
  • Leave space between your refrigerator and the surrounding walls and cabinets to allow air to circulate around the coils.
  • Organize your refrigerator and freezer to avoid leaving the door open while you locate items.
  • Thaw, or partially thaw, frozen foods in the refrigerator before cooking. The frozen food will reduce the cooling requirements. Avoid putting hot dishes in the refrigerator.
  • Put full loads in the dishwasher and use the 'energy saving' setting for the drying cycle or let dishes air dry.
  • Freezer efficiency is increased by keeping it full.
  • Use the energy-saver feature of your computer monitor (if available) to turn it off after it is not in use for more than 15 minutes if you leave your computer on.

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