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) wastes gasoline.
* 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 with compact or standard fluorescent lamps.
* Consider factors such as your climate, building design, and budget when selecting insulation R-values for your home.
* 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 Alternative Energy please visit http://greenenergyonline.org