Energy Saving Tips For Your Home

Heating – Cool Weather

  • Set your thermostat to your comfort level, but for conservation purposes, 68 degrees or lower is recommended. For every degree above 68, the unit requires 5% more energy and will reflect a 5% increase in your utility bill!
  • By opening shades, drapes or blinds during the winter, sunlight can enter the house and help to naturally warm the home. At night, close the shades, drapes, or blinds to help retain heat.
  • If you wish to use a ceiling fan, operate it on low speed and switch it to run in reverse if possible to push hot air from the ceiling level to the occupied- lower areas of the room. Use fans only when the room is occupied.
  • Use an electric blanket when you set your thermostat back at night. An electric blanket is more economical than heating the entire house all night long. Or use several light blankets.
  • Change your air filter monthly!
  • Wear layers of clothes rather than one heavy piece of clothing. Layers trap in body heat and keep you more comfortable!
  • A pan of water placed near a heating outlet will add moisture to your home or use a humidifier. In the winter, a properly humidified home is as comfortable at 68 degrees as a dry one is at 75 degrees!

Efficient Water Heating Tips

  • Check to ensure that your thermostat on your hot water heater is not set higher than 120 degrees. If your dishwasher doesn’t have a booster heater, then you may have to set the thermostat at 130 to 140 degrees.
  • Install a timer on your hot water heater! Limit the run times to 3 hours or less daily.
  • For old fiberglass insulated water heaters, an insulation jacket is recommendation to reduce heat loss!
  • Install a shower flow controller. It reduces the flow of water down to 3 gallons per minute. You can save 1 gallon of hot water per minute or up to 4000 gallons per year!
  • If you’re going to be away from home for more than 3 days, turn off your electric hot water heater. It will reheat in less than an hour after you return. Use the breaker to shut it off.
  • Repair leaky faucets.  One drop of water per minute from a leaky faucet can waste about 60 gallons a week.
  • Take shorter showers or shallower baths.
  • Close the sink drain when you are shaving, you will save gallons of hot water that pour down the drain.

Laundry

  • Try a warm-water wash and cold-water rinse. Or use one of the new all-temperature detergents that allow use with cold water on both cycles.  Also, one large load of laundry uses less energy than two smaller loads.
  • Don’t use too much soap. The washer has to work harder and may require a second wash to remove the excess soap.
  • Clean the lint filter on your dryer after each use and clean out the dryer vent pipe to the outside every 6 months.
  • Don’t over dry your clothes! It harms your clothes and wastes energy.
  • Dry loads of clothes consecutively to take advantage of heat that has built up during previous loads.
  • Wash and dry full loads at a time!
  • Iron large amounts of clothing at one time.
  • Turn off the iron when interrupted and when finished.

Dishwasher

  • Proper loading is important.  Operate only when it is filled to capacity.
  • If manufacturer’s instructions permit, open the door of your dishwasher after the last rinse cycle to allow moisture to escape and the dishes to dry as they cool.  Some units have a power saver switch that automatically eliminates during the drying cycle.

Refrigerator

  • Keep fridge between 37 and 40 degrees and the freezer settings at 0.
  • Keep condenser coils clean. Vacuum the coils at least TWICE a year!
  • Make sure the door gasket seals tightly.
  • Let hot foods cool before placing them in the fridge.
  • Position the fridge away from heat sources. If the unit has back coils, position it at least 4″ from the wall.
  • Open and close the fridge and avoid keeping the door open!!

Cooking

  • Oven preheating is usually not required and wastes energy.  When preheating is required, avoid preheating longer than necessary. Preheating takes less than 8 minutes.  A lot of recipes do not require the pre-heating option.
  • Turn off the electric range a few minutes before cooking is finished.  Retained heat will complete the job.
  • Use the microwave whenever possible, it’s the most efficient way to cook or reheat food.
  • Don’t use your range or oven to heat the kitchen.  It’s inefficient and can be a safety hazard.
  • Choose pots and pans that have wide flat bottoms that just cover the burner.  They will absorb all the heat and cook food more evenly.  Aluminum pans with flat bottoms, straight sides, and tight fitting lids are best for energy savings.

Lighting

  • Don’t leave lights on in unoccupied rooms.  Many people mistakenly think it takes more energy to turn on a light back on that it does to leave it on.  Thats not true!!!
  • Use fluorescent lights whenever possible.  Fluorescent lighting is ideal for use in kitchens, baths, workshops and laundry rooms where lights are left on for long periods of time.
  • Compact fluorescents are some of the most efficient replacements for incandescent bulbs.  They give an equivalent amount of light and are 60% more efficient.  They will cost more but will last 8-10 times longer.
  • Use one large bulb rather than several small ones, but don’t exceed the maximum wattage listed on each fixture.  One 100 watt bulb produces as much light as two 60-watt bulbs or size 25-watt bulbs and is more efficient.
  • Energy can be saved by installing dimmers so illumination can be reduced/ controlled. Three way bulbs provide similar control by being able to reduce the wattage/ lighting output.
These tips brought to you by Realty Masters of FL courtesy of Gulf Power – A Southern Company!