Free (While adding money to your pocket!)
- Set your hot water heater no higher than 120 degrees. You’ll save 15 percent of your water-heating energy.
- Turn off lights when you leave the room.
- Use the minimum amount of lighting that is necessary.
- Turn off the TV, VCR, stereo, fan, computer, printer, and other electronics when not in use.
- Activate power management settings by placing your inactive monitors into a low-power sleep mode, which can save up to $55 per monitor annually.
- Activate power management settings by placing inactive computers into a low-power sleep mode, which can save up to an additional $45 per computer annually.
- Reduce HVAC system operation hours when no one is home.
- Set thermostat to 68 degrees F in the winter and 78 degrees F in summer.
- Use curtains and shades over the windows during the winter to keep in the heat.
- Avoid using portable or baseboard heaters, because not only are they power hogs, they are also a fire hazard.
- Use only as much light as is necessary as depending on the task you are working on.
- Do at least two electricity audits of your home, one for the coldest month and one for the hottest to figure out how much electricity you are using during the year.
- Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible, and line dry afterwards.
- Clean the lint trap after each load.
- Don’t over-dry clothing. Not only does this save energy, but also your clothes.
- Dry full loads.
- Do a few loads in a row to take advantage of the dryer’s reserved heat.
- Move your fridge away from other major appliances, such as a dishwasher, stove, or even a heat vent.
- Make sure your fridge is tightly sealed, so no air leaks out. A good trick to figure this out is by closing the door on a dollar bill. If you can easily pull the bill out, your fridge is not tightly sealed.If necessary, adjust or replace the gasket.
- Use the energy saver setting on your dishwasher and clean the filter after each washing.
- Just like your refrigerator door, your oven door should shut tightly. Check with the dollar bill test (see #2).
- Run your dishwasher with a full load. Most of the energy used by a dishwasher goes to heat water.
- Avoid using the heat-dry, rinse-hold and pre-rinse features on your dishwasher. Instead use the air-dry option.
If your dishwasher does not have an air-dry option, prop the door open after the final rinse to dry the dishes.
- Thaw, or partially thaw, frozen foods in the fridge before cooking.
Under $100 (Things that pay for themselves in less than 2 years)
- Install a water-saving showerhead.
- Use energy-efficient lighting and fixtures.
- Use a light dimmer when using regular bulbs. However, do NOT use dimmers with fluorescent bulbs.
- Paint walls a light color to reflect light and make the room feel brighter (dark colors absorb light and make you use more artificial lighting).
- Use a fan instead of an air condition when possible.
- Add window tint to minimize solar heat gain and reduce your air conditioning needs.
- Plant deciduous trees outside your largest west-facing window for shade in the summer to reduce your air conditioning needs.
Over $100 (Measures that pay for themselves in 3 to 15 years)
- Buy a self-cleaning oven. They have higher insulation levels and use less energy than ordinary ovens.
- Buy appliances with the ENERGY STAR® label.
- Buy the smallest model of the appliance that meets your needs; smaller models often use less energy.
- Add extra insulation to your attic.
- Block air gaps around plumbing pipes and electrical cables, windows and doors with caulking and weather-stripping.
- Insulate hot water pipes and put a water-heater blanket on your hot water heater.
- Insulate walls with cellulose or foam insulation when renovating.
- Use low-e double pane windows in new construction, additions or renovations.
- Install awnings or shades over windows on the south or west side of the building.
Your local Green Irene Eco-Consultant, Rebecca Rossi, can help you create a greener home and lifestyle. During a Green Home Makeover, Rebecca will sit down with you and discuss your thoughts about and goals for greener living, then spend some time walking through your home to assess where your opportunities for change lie. The steps she’ll recommend, as well as referrals to local resources and specialists, are designed to help you save energy and water, improve your indoor air quality, remove toxic chemicals from your home, and reduce the waste you generate and send to the landfill. Rebecca is also available to help you host a “Go Green” party in your home – where information and resources will be provided on an environmental topic of interest to you and your guests. Rebecca also has green products, researched and reviewed by the Green Irene research team, available through her online product catalog. However, for most of us there are many simple (and free) changes we can make to “increase our green” before we buy anything!
Energistics: After years of helping family and friends find ways to save money on energy costs, Andy and Angie Scott decided they could have a greater impact if they offered their knowledge and expertise to the larger community. Today, they offer home energy evaluations and solutions to homeowners throughout Central Illinois, helping consumers save money on energy bills as well as make their homes healthier, more comfortable places to live. They have a great passion for Energistics and the homeowners they serve and are excited at the positive response they have been receiving from consumers.Call Andy and Angie today to start saving money tomorrow!
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