Energy efficiency means using electricity wisely. There are simple steps you can take to increase your energy efficiency that will save you money while serving your cooperative and the environment – and improve the comfort level of your home during the heating season:
- Replace furnace or heat pump filters regularly.
- Have your heating and cooling system checked annually by a professional.
- Caulk and weather-strip all leaky windows, baseboards, and doors.
- Caulk and weatherproof all exterior openings that need to be sealed,
including plumbing and electrical services.
- Install weather-stripping and caulking on doors, windows and other openings to stop air leakage.
- Seal all attic vents and ducts.
- Install draft-stoppers behind electric outlets and switches.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated (ceiling, walls, and floors).
- Consider increasing the insulation level in attic and walls
- Don’t depend on thermostat settings; go by your own comfort. Keep the temperature where you are comfortable while wearing a light sweater.
- For every degree you lower your thermostat setting, you save 1% of your heating costs. Heat pumps require special thermostats for automatic temperature setbacks.
- When the house is cold, don’t “overset” the thermostat for temperature recovery. The house won’t heat any faster.
- Keep drapes and shades open in sunny windows; close them at night.
- Be sure the heated air flow is not restricted by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
- Keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use. Glass doors are recommended.
- Keep foundation vents closed during cold weather.
- Use portable electric space heaters safely.
- Use storm windows or plastic covers on windows in winter.
- Seal off window air conditioners and swamp coolers in the winter.
- Keep wall and baseboard heaters clean and free of debris
- Buy high efficiency water heaters. They use 10% less energy.
- Check the hot water temperature with a thermometer at the faucet closest to the water heater. The general recommendation for water heater temperature is 120°F. Older dishwashers may require 140°F.
- Insulate water heaters unless prohibited by manufacturer’s instructions. Follow directions on the insulation kit.
- Consider a solar hot water pre-heating system.
Smart Purchases that Save Money
- A programmable thermostat can save you up to $100 annually when programmed and used properly.
- Compact fluorescents (CFLs) use two-thirds less electricity and last ten times longer than traditional light bulbs and fixtures.
- Low flow showerheads – use less hot water (as does taking showers instead
- Energy Star rated appliances will net you energy and budgetary savings –
and you may be eligible for incentives and rebates on your purchases.
- Time to replace your hot water heater? Consider a Marathon super-efficient hot water heater – it comes with a lifetime guarantee!
- Turning the thermostat down even one or two degrees – turning off lights when no one is in the room – adding insulation – these are simple things that can substantially lower your monthly bill.
While more than 95% of OPALCO’s electricity is generated from non-carbon producing sources, this issue remains important to all of us. OPALCO is asking everyone to be aware of their energy usage.
Also check out:
Alliance to Save Energy https://www.ase.org/
Energy Ideas https://www.energyideas.org/
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy https://www.eere.energy.gov/