Energy Conservation Advice
40 Ways To Save Energy ... And Cash!
Conservation of energy can be as easy as opening the blinds or changing a light bulb!
There are plenty of things you can do around your home. Many of them are fast and FREE, and all of them effectively ensure maximum comfort, energy efficiency and peace of mind:
Reach for the ENERGY STAR®:
- Upgrade to ENERGY STAR energy efficiency equipment, which can save 10-40% on heating and air conditioning bills, and may also improve the comfort level in your home. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved about $50 billion on their energy bills.
Test your heating system:
- Check that your emergency switch is "on." Then raise the thermostat at least 10° higher than room temperature.
- Listen to your heating system - it should "hum" into action.
- If the equipment doesn't start up, press the reset button on your oil burner's relay (only press it once).
- If your heating system still won't start, or if it creates an odor or strange sound, don't hesitate to call Harris Comfort. We'll check your heating system right away!
Keep your heating system properly maintained with Harris Comfort's services:
- Call us or contact us for your heating system's annual tune-up and cleaning.
- Take advantage of our Comfort Service Plans, offering you prompt emergency service and coverage of valuable system parts and labor.
- Schedule a heating system efficiency test.
Conserve heat around your home during colder months:
- Close your kitchen vent, gas fireplace damper and closet doors when not in use.
- Remove air conditioning window units or cover them securely.
- Correct air leaks around windows, doors and electrical outlets, and repair weather stripping and caulking.
- Keep radiators free of dust for top efficiency.
- Turn your thermostat back when not at home. By turning your thermostat back 10-15° for 8 hours, you can save about 5-15% a year on your heating bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
- Get a programmable thermostat. When used properly, thermostats are great for conservation of energy. It can shave $100 off your annual energy bills.
- Make sure rugs and furniture don't block the air circulation from baseboard outlets.
- Replace any cracked glass in your windows.
- Seal off your attic circulating fan with polyethylene and tape.
- Make sure your ceiling has at least six inches of good thermal insulation.
- Install a water heater blanket for greater heating efficiency.
- Wrap your pipes to guard against heat loss and prevent them from freezing.
- Keep ductwork in good repair. Your home could be losing up to 25% of its hot air before it reaches the vents! A little duct tape or duct insulation could keep all your "ducts in a row."
Conserve energy during warmer months:
- Keep drapes, blinds and shades closed during the day to block out the sun.
- Clear furniture away from air conditioning vents, and close unused rooms and their vents.
- Install an attic fan - it can reduce the temperature in your attic by nearly 30%!
- Keep cool air in by installing insulation and weather-stripping.
- Install reflective window coatings to reflect heat away from your home.
- Cook on the grill to keep cooking heat outside.
- When cooking inside, use a microwave instead of a conventional oven — it uses less than half the power and cooks food in about one-fourth the time.
- Turn the air conditioner thermostat up to at least 78° or higher, or use a programmable thermostat. Turn air conditioners off when no one is home.
- Plant trees due west of west windows. The shade could reduce your air conditioning bills by up to 25%.
Conserve energy around your home all year long:
- Close off rooms you don't use - and remember to shut the vents inside.
- Turn off the lights if you leave a room for more than a few seconds.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. They last up to 10-13 times longer than standard bulbs and use 75% less energy.
- Install dimmer switches. In addition to making for more romantic dinners, it will extend the life of your bulbs and help you save up to 60% on your lighting costs.
- Install motion activated switches that automatically turn lights on and off.
- Lower the temperature of your water heater from 140° (medium) to 120° (low). You'll save 3-5% in water heating costs for each 10° reduction. Or, consider a timer to turn your water heater off when not in use.
- Install water-conserving fixtures, such as showerheads, faucets and toilets.
- Install ceiling fans. They could cut your energy bill by 40%. Using reversing fans for upward airflow will move warm air down in the winter!
- Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer. Also, cover food in the fridge; uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
- Use less water and use cooler water when doing laundry. The warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load's energy use in half.