The average house uses energy for the following tasks-with percent of annual energy use.
Heating & Cooling – 43%
Refrigerator – 8%
Water Heating – 12%
Lights, Cooking and other Appliances – 28%
Computers & Electronics – 9%
Save 3-5% of your heating and air conditioning costs for each degree you set your thermostat – below in winter and above in summer – your normal setting.
Heat and cool your home as needed by adjusting the thermostat accordingly when you are sleeping or when no one is home. Also, consider installing an ENERGY STAR® qualified programmable thermostat to make these adjustments easier per Larson Heating & Air in Nixa, MO.
Proper insulation helps keep your home warm during winter and cool during summer. Check the insulation levels in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors, and crawl spaces to see if it meets recommended levels.
You may be losing energy when heating and cooling your home through air leaks. Check for, then caulk and weather-strip, holes and cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets that can leak air into or out of your home.
Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained; check owner’s manuals for recommended maintenance.
Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home, and typically accounts for about 12% of the energy consumed in your home. You should turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees, or the warm setting, and insulate it and your pipes.
About 80-85% of the energy used for washing clothes is used to heat the water; reduce this by washing full loads only – and using cooler water with cold-water detergents. Lowering the temperature setting from hot to warm cuts a load’s energy use in half.
Clean or replace air return filters two to three times during summer and winter. On your outside unit, keep fins and coils clear from debris; you can also save energy by planting trees or shrubs to shade your unit.
In the Winter, close drapes, curtains and shades during the day to prevent cool breezes from entering – particularly on the south and west sides.
Increasing lighting efficiency is one of the fastest ways to decrease your electricity bills. Turn off lights in rooms not in use; check lighting needs and use patterns for ways to use controls such as occupancy sensors, dimmers, or timers; and, replace heat producing 75-watt incandescent bulbs with 20-watt compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, and receive the same amount of light for just a quarter of the energy – CFLs also last about ten-times longer.
Keep fireplace dampers closed tightly when not in use and get your fireplace cleaned by a professional like “Dr. Flue.”
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