Cool Tips for Saving Energy
You can save money on your energy bills by following these simple practices:
- Keep cool air in and hot air out by sealing openings such as cracks in walls and around windows and doors.
- If you have a fireplace, close the flue damper when it's not in use. The use of a wood burning fireplace can actually draw heat out of the home - unless you have glass doors or an insert.
- If you don't have storm or thermal windows, cover the inside of your windows tightly with plastic from a discount or hardware store.
- Caulk or weather strip around doors and windows to seal out cold air. In addition to potential cost savings, a well-sealed home will make the interior space more comfortable.
- Add draft-sealers around electric switches and outlets.
- Use oil, gas, kerosene or wood-burning stoves only when properly vented to the outdoors.
- Remove window air conditioning units to reduce drafts. If this isn't possible, cover all sides of the unit to minimize leakage.
- Don't forget that computers, fax machines, TV's, VCR's, CD players, cable boxes, cassette decks also consume energy because of their standby features. Some will continue to consume energy even when turned off if they are plugged in. Consider unplugging when you leave home or go on vacation.
- Activate the ''sleep'' feature on home office equipment. This automatically minimizes power consumption when not in use.
- If you have a pool, remember that it, too, consumes energy - consider a pool cover to minimize the operation of the circulation pump.
Here are some other helpful tips for saving energy this summer:
- Have a professional perform routine maintenance on your heat pump or central air conditioning unit and have any problems repaired right away.
- Change or replace air filters monthly.
- If you have central air conditioning, set your thermostat at 78° or higher. For every degree you raise your thermostat setting above 72° F, you can save 5-7% on your cooling costs.
- Close blinds on the sunny side of the house during the day to block heat.
- Consider using fans, which use much less power, as an alternative to an air conditioner.