Valentine’s Day is just a couple of days away, and we thought we’d show our love for our customers by sharing some energy saving tips. These tips can help you reduce your monthly energy bills and help reduce carbon emissions, preserving the environment.
The lighting we use in our homes contributes to about 10% of our monthly bill. Upgrading to more efficient bulbs can reduce that cost by 25% to 80% over incandescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs; LEDs in particular use less energy than incandescents and CFLs, and they last up to 25 times longer. When upgrading lights, read the packaging to determine if the light will cast the same brightness as the bulb you are replacing. Packages will often say “60 watt equivalent”, but be sure to check the lumens, which is the bulb’s actual brightness. And don’t forget, when leaving a room, turn off the lights!
Properly set thermostats could save you up to $180 per year. Installing a programmable thermostat for your home can help regulate the energy use when heating or cooling your home, preventing you from forgetting to turn it off when you leave. During the summer, it is recommended that you set the temperature to 78°F for while you’re home and higher than 80°F when you leave. During the winter, set the temperatures to 68°F and below 64° for the same times. Every extra degree warmer in cold months or cooler during warm months can increase your electricity consumption by 6% to 8%. In addition, set your refrigerator and freezer temps to 40°F and 5°F, respectively. Water heaters should be set to 120°F, as the 140°F factory default is more than is really needed.
When doing the laundry, make sure you are only running full loads. Washing machines use the same amount of water and energy for a full load as they do for one article of clothing. Using cold water for loads as much as possible will also reduce energy usage. Instead of using the dryer, let your clothes air dry by hanging them on a rack or clothesline. If you still use the dryer often, it’s a good idea to clean the lint trap whenever it needs it. Cleaning it will improve airflow and make the dryer more efficient.
Many electronics these days have power saving settings. Computers and monitors can be set to go to sleep mode after a set period of inactivity; the EPA recommends setting to 15-60 minutes. Many televisions have a power saving mode, but you can also lower the brightness levels to cut back on energy use. All electronics drain energy whether they are on or off. Powered down electronics account for 5% to 10% of monthly energy use. The only way to completely stop the flow of energy is unplugging electronics completely. With entertainment centers, plug all of your electronics into a power strip and shut it off when the devices are not in use.
Keeping refrigerators full is actually more efficient than one that is more empty. If you don’t have a full fridge, fill some jugs with water and place them into the fridge. They will help keep the air inside cooler for a longer period of time. Like with the washing machine, only run dishwashers when they have a full load to maximize their efficiency. Also likewise, letting the dishes air dry will save on energy. When preparing food, use the smallest appliance for the job. Ovens drain a lot of energy, but microwaves or toasters can accomplish the same result for smaller food.
During the winter months, set your ceiling fan to low and have it blow air upward to help circulate the heat. Changing air filters in your heating and air conditioning systems will keep them running more efficiently by improving the airflow, reducing energy use by 5% to 15%. Using blinds and drapes to shade rooms in the summer will keep your home cooler, and keeping them open during the winter will let more sunlight in and keep it warmer. Closing fireplace dampers will help seal up your home and keep you from wasting chilled or warmed air in the summer and winter months, respectively. Finally, getting yourself an energy audit can help you find more ways to seal up your home and address any areas that are wasting energy.
About Glacial Energy: Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com.