Easy Ways To Save Energy
When it comes to energy efficiency, everyone knows that turning down the thermostat will save energy and therefore money. But were you ever told exactly what the adjustment of a thermostat could mean in actual dollars and cents savings? Turning the temperature down just one degree can reduce your heating bill by 2- to 3-percent. Turning the thermostat down from 72 to 68 can reduce your heating bill by up to 12%. And lower temperatures don’t have to be uncomfortable. December is not the time to tool around the house in light weight cotton pajamas or a flimsy T-shirt. A long sleeve, loose fitting jogging outfit can be warm and comfortable and good looking too. Now we don’t want to suggest that you subject small children or older folks to the cold, but if you are in good health you can save over $100 per year with the flick of a wrist — at the thermostat.
An even more significant amount of savings can be achieved by turning your furnace down or off at bedtime and when you leave home. Once you get into a regular routine, you can count on saving as much as twenty-percent of your heating bill. If you are not the kind of person that cares to be restricted to a routine you can install a “set-back” or “clock-controlled” thermostat. One that will turn the furnace off (or down) automatically. There are digital models that can turn your furnace on and off, up and down, several times each day. The more features that these units have, the more expensive they are to purchase and the more complicated they are to use.
Changing your furnace filter will cost $3 or $4, but can reduce your heating bill between 1- and 4-percent. A clogged filter can reduce air flow and reduce the efficiency of the furnace. Changing your filter is not a major contributor to energy savings, but there are enough savings to pay for the filter, and more importantly, the filter change results in increased furnace life as a result of reduced stress on the blower motor.
Another way to reduce heating costs is to seal leaks in ducting. This can be a major contributor to lost energy — as much as 40-percent or more. Duct tape is sometimes all that is used to seal a joint in a duct. Eventually, the duct tape will dry out and become brittle. Finally, a leak can result. Finding these leaks can take time, especially since most ducting is surrounded by insulation. Remember: it doesn’t make sense to waste energy in an attic or basment that is used for nothing but luggage storage. So much money can often be saved when a broken duct is repaired that it may be worth it to have a heating specialist survey your ducting system for you.
Turning down the water heater and covering it with a blanket can reduce your utility bill by up to 10-percent. Most older water heaters were preset to 140 degrees. Yet you can still be scalded by water at 120 degrees. If reducing the water temperature to 120 degrees proves to be an inconvenience you can always turn it back up again. If the thermostat on your water heater isn’t marked in degrees then check with the owner’s manual for instructions. If no owner’s manual exists then run hot water on a cooking thermometer to find out what the current setting is. Make the same test the day after lowering the setting.
A 2.5 gallon shower head will reduce water consumption by over fifty-percent in many instances. To find out how much water your current shower head is using fill a bucket for 30 seconds. Twice the amount of water that is in the bucket equals how many gallons per minute your shower head is using. Imagine the savings here — 10-percent or more.
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