Energy Saving Tips
By David Tanguay
Astonishingly, Americans generally spend $1600 or more a year on their
utility bills. Not only is much of this wasted energy, but more carbon dioxide
is emitted into the air from one home than two average cars. The following tips
will help you save energy costs both at home and in the car.
*Set your thermostat comfortably low in the winter and comfortably high in the
summer. Install a
programmable thermostat that is compatible with your
heating and cooling system.
* Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
* Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
* Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
* Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn
the power strips off when the
equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby
mode still use several watts of power).
* Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
* Take short showers instead of baths.
* Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
* Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking)
* Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR
products meet strict
efficiency guidelines set by the United States
Environmental Protection Agency and the United States
Department of Energy.
Energy Auditing Tips:
* Check the insulation levels in your attic, exterior and basement walls,
ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces.
* Check for holes or cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light
and plumbing fixtures, switches,
and electrical outlets that can leak air into
or out of your home.
* Check for open fireplace dampers.
* Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly
maintained. Check your owner's
manual for the recommended maintenance.
* Study your family's lighting needs and use patterns, paying special attention
to high-use areas such as the
living room, kitchen, and outside lighting. Look
for ways to use lighting controls - like occupancy sensors,
dimmers, or timers -
to reduce lighting energy use, and replace standard light bulbs and fixtures
compact or standard fluorescent lamps.
* Consider factors such as your climate, building design, and budget when
selecting insulation R-values for
* Use higher density insulation, such as rigid foam boards, in cathedral
ceilings and on exterior walls.
* Ventilation plays a large role in providing moisture control and reducing
summer cooling bills. Attic vents can
be installed along the entire ceiling
cavity to help ensure proper airflow.
* Recessed light fixtures can be a major source of heat loss, but you need to be
careful how close you place
insulation next to a fixture unless it is marked IC.
These tips, and more, are provided to you in a larger PDF file by the US
Department of Energy.
David Tanguay is dedicated to providing research, reviews & helpful information
to consumers and businesses. For more information related to Green Energy and
Renewable Energy please visit