Year Round Energy Conservation Tips
- Only use appliances with heavy electrical loads (dishwashers, washers, dryers) early in the morning or late at night.
- Turn off lights, appliances and computers when not in use. Minimize "leaking energy”. Many TVs, VCRs/DVDs, chargers, computer peripherals and other appliances use electricity even when switched "off." These "standby losses" can add up. Avoid using a "screen saver" on your computer monitor. Simply turn off the monitor when you won't be using the computer for a while. Set computers, monitors, printers, and copiers to their energy saving feature and turn them off in the evening. It's no longer true that computer equipment is damaged by turning it off and on. If possible, unplug electronic devices and chargers that have a block-shaped transformer on the plug when not in use.
- Power bars with built-in timers or with auto-shutoff allow you to control when power is available for appliances and electronic devices.
- Ideally suited for computer workstations or home theatre systems, these power bars shut off electricity to electronic products typically left on or in “stand-by” mode. Even in “stand-by” these electronic devices consume electricity, often referred to as “phantom power”. Devices such as power bars with timers or auto-shutoff reduces phantom power consumption.
- You can save up to 15% on your monthly electricity use by reducing the use of phantom power.
- Power bars with timers allow you to automatically turn off electronics and appliances during the time of day in which they are unlikely to be used. For example, a power bar with a timer can be used as a charging station for all of your portable electronics. Or, if a computer or home entertainment system is almost never used between midnight and 4 p.m., the power to them can be shut off entirely.
- Power bars with auto-shutoff can detect when an electronic product (like a computer) goes into sleep mode. When this is detected, the power bar will shut down power to designated plugs it controls where devices like a DVD or Blu-Ray players, powered subwoofers, gaming consoles or monitors, speakers and printers are plugged in.
- Reduce home heating and cooling needs by up to 20% by eliminating drafts and leaks around windows and doors. Consider adhesive-backed V-strips because they’ll fill the gaps and are easy to install. For around metal or steel-clad doors, consider magnetic weather stripping. The bottom edge of these doors will usually require specialized door or threshold sweeps that screw on the bottom edge of the door, creating a seal when the door closes. For best results, thoroughly clean the surface onto which you’ll be applying adhesive-backed weather stripping.
- Caulk windows and doors to keep air from leaking, and replace old windows with new, energy-efficient windows.
- Wash only full loads of clothes and clean the dryer's lint trap after each use. Use the cold water setting on your clothes washer when you can. Using cold water reduces your washer's energy use by 75 percent.
- Wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher and use the "light" cycle. If possible, use the "rinse only" cycle and turn off the "high temperature" rinse option. When the regular wash cycle is done, open the dishwasher door to allow the dishes to air dry.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights. ENERGY STAR®-qualified CFLs:
- use up to 75% less electricity than incandescent light bulbs.
- Replacing 5 standard (60W) incandescent light bulbs with 13W ENERGY STAR®-qualified CFLs you can save up to $30 per year on your electricity costs.
- Last up to 10 times longer than incandescent.
- Compared with standard incandescent bulbs, ENERGY STAR®-qualified CFLs use one-third the energy while providing the same brightness.
- ENERGY STAR®-qualified specialty CFL bulbs now come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They can now be used to replace incandescent bulbs in pot lights, chandeliers, bathroom vanity lighting, with dimmer switches and in some outdoor applications. Measure the length and width of your current light bulb and match the CFL as closely as possible to that. Although CFLs contain small amounts of mercury, they are far more energy-efficient compared to incandescent bulbs. And because CFLs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent, less packaging ends up in landfills.
- Wrap the water heater with an insulation jacket, available at most building supply retailers. Insulating your water tank can reduce heat losses by 25-40%. This could save 4-9% in water heating costs. A water heater should have insulation with an R-value of at least R-24. If it doesn’t, adding insulation could reduce the amount of heat loss when water is not being drawn from the tank. If your tank is warm to the touch, it likely requires additional insulation. Remember that these water heater blankets are designed only for electric water heaters. It is wise to shut-off your circuit breaker or remove the fuses before installing the blanket. Read and follow manufacturers' instructions carefully.