Friday, June 4, 2010

Energy-saving tips

Energy-saving tips - Kudzu.com
Simple suggestions on how to cut your gas and electricity bills. Little things make a difference, and small savings add up.

Take your temp: Are you an air-conditioner blaster? A heat hoarder? There are ways to stay comfortable without throwing money away. Keep your thermostat on 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter, and try these easy tips:

Summer

  • Install ceiling fans to circulate air and lower your indoor air temperature without blasting the air conditioner.
  • Open windows across the house from each other during cool times of the day and enjoy a pleasant breeze.
  • Keep blinds and curtains closed on the sunny side of the house.
  • Install window film, especially on windows on the southern side of your house.
  • Run appliances that create heat, such as the oven, dishwasher and dryer, at cooler times of the day.
  • Use spot lighting rather than whole-room lighting to keep rooms from heating up.
  • Keep a cool pitcher of iced tea in the fridge and try the age-old keep-cool method of kicking back on the porch.
Winter

  • Open blinds and curtains and let the sun warm your home.
  • Keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use to keep cold air out and warm air in.
  • Tune up your furnace yearly.
  • Curl up by a roaring fire. If you have a gas fireplace, just use the gas to start the fire.
  • Scatter throw blankets around the house so you can hang out in comfort.
All Year


Plug in to energy efficiency: Got things humming all day long? These smart choices and small changes can help you use less energy—and save more money.
  • Switch to Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs. This is the easiest and most effective change you can make to reduce your energy use.
  • Look for the Energy Star label when replacing appliances.
  • Wash full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Dry loads of clothes one after the other to take advantage of the heat left in the dryer.
  • Clean the lint filter after every load.
  • Keep refrigerators comfortably full.
  • Avoid keeping refrigerators and freezers in the garage.
  • Clean refrigerator coils twice a year.
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use.
  • Keep it simple. Sure, the latest appliances offer convenience, but there's nothing like the muscles you build kneading your own bread, cranking your own ice cream, and sweeping the floor with a good ol' fashioned broom.
Contact your power company about an in-home energy audit to find out specific ways to save money. Most power companies offer them for free or for a minimal charge, and some even offer a quick on-line audit where you can discover changes you can make that will make a difference in your monthly bills.