Ten Ways You Can Save Energy in Your Home

Appliances account for more than 25% of your homes energy consumption.

1. The refrigerator is a major energy user. Keep the thermostat at 36 to 40 F and the freezer at 5 F. Check that the seal on each door is tight by closing it on a dollar bill. If you can slide it out easily, replace the seal. Consider replacing a fridge older than 10 years with a new EnergyStar model. That upgrade can save $75 to $100 per year on electricity. EnergyStar qualified refrigerators use half the energy of models sold over just 4 years ago.

2. Run a dishwasher only when it’s full, and turn off the heat-dry function.

3. Run full loads in the washer and dryer. If you must wash a small amount, use the small-capacity setting, which cuts water use by as much as 50 percent.

Air conditioning and heating systems are big energy users and are often not properly maintained and utilized.

4. Provide regular cleaning and maintenance for your heating and A/C system for maximum efficiency.

5. Air filters should be replaced at least every 3 months.

6. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, get one. You can set your heating and A/C system to operate when you’re at home and need it. When you’re away at work or on vacation, it can be programmed to a more economical setting.

7. Ceiling fans create air movement, providing a more comfortable living area and allowing you to adjust the thermostat and save more energy.

How many light bulbs do you use in your house?

8. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents. They cost more but last up to 13 times longer, and they use just 25 percent of the electricity.

Present day water heaters are inefficient. Electricity is constantly needed to keep the water hot – even when you’re not using it. There are ways to help you save enegy.

9. Your water heater recommended temperature setting is 110 – 120 degrees. Water heater blankets can reduce heat loss by 6%. Consider a tankless water heater – it only heats water when you need it.

Any appliance with a clock, light or remote uses energy continuously, as does any sort of charger when plugged in. These phantom power losses account for 5 to 15 percent of your electricity usage.

10. Set up a recharging station for cell phones, MP3 players and personal digital assistants on one power strip. Charge them when you get home, and turn off the strip when you go to bed.

From the Dallas Morning News