Taking steps to reduce your energy consumption is becoming more important every year as the cost of living continues to escalate, the average house size continues to expand, and computers, big-screen TVs, cell phone chargers, and other technologies that did not exist just 10 or 20 years ago continue to make their way into our homes and businesses.
Start making a difference in your energy consumption (and your wallet) today with these simple and effective energy-saving tips.
Conserve: Change your behavior and save big
1. Don’t just turn it off; unplug it! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 75% of the electricity used to power electronics in the average home is consumed while the products are turned off. To rid your home of this “phantom load,” unplug electronic devices (such as VCRs, televisions, game consoles, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances) when they are not in use, or use a power strip to cut all power to these devices. Also be sure to unplug cell-phone, lap-top, and battery chargers; they continue to draw a small amount of power even when they are not connected to the devices they are designed to charge.
Savings: Cutting power to your PC, monitor, printer, and modem for 20 hours per day (using a power strip) could save you 30 kWh and $4 per month.
2. Adjust your thermostat. In the winter, set it at 68 – 70ºF when you’re home, and 62 ºF when you’re away or in bed. In the summer, set it at 76 – 78ºF when you’re home, and 82 ºF when you’re away and running the air conditioner.
Savings: Turning the heat down from 75ºF to 70ºF in the winter could save you 131 kWh and $19 per month in a typical 1,800 square-foot home.
3. Turn down your water heater thermostat to 120°F, or the “normal” setting. Water heating accounts for about 13% of home energy costs.
Savings: Turning your water heater thermostat down from 140°F to 120°F could save you 75 kWh and $11 per month.
4. Take short showers instead of baths. Bathing uses the most hot water in most households.
Savings: Taking a five-minute shower instead of a ten-minute shower or a bath every day could save you 133 kWh and $19 per month.
5. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
Savings: Reducing the amount of laundry and dishes you wash from six to three times per week could save you 40 kWh and $6 per month.
6. Air-dry clothes and dishes.
Savings: Reducing the amount of laundry and dishes you dry with a dryer or dishwasher from six to three times per week could save you 50 kWh and $7 per month.
Get Efficient: Low-cost solutions for your home
1. Change over to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Replacing traditional light bulbs with CFLs will save up to 75% of the energy you currently use to light your home. Start by switching out the bulbs in the fixtures you use most often.
Savings: Replacing five traditional 60-watt incandescent bulbs with 20-watt CFLs could save you 48 kWh and $3.50 per month.
2. Seal your home against air leaks. Air sealing your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce your energy bill and improve your comfort. Done right, home sealing could save you up to 10% on your home energy bill.
Savings: Sealing holes, cracks, and gaps throughout a typical 1,800 square-foot home could save you 225 kWh and $32 per month.
3. Install low-flow water saving devices, such as faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads, to use less water.
Savings: Installing three faucet aerators and a low-flow shower head could save you 144 kWh and $21 per month.
4. Install setback thermostats. For as little as $20 per zone you can purchase and install programmable setback thermostats that will automatically turn down the heat at night and when people are at work or school during the day to help you save significantly on energy.
Savings: Programming a setback thermostat to turn down the heat in winter months from 70ºF to 62ºF for eight hours a day while you’re at work could save you 180 kWh and $26 per month.
Note: Energy and cost-savings estimates based on a typical family of four living in an 1,800 square-foot home with electric heat and hot water. Savings will vary per household.
Original article taken from Public Service of New Hampshire: