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Small Steps Add Up to Big Savings
Your family has taken the first step in saving energy by installing the kit items provided in the M.O.R.E. High School Program Energy Saving Kit. The kit items are meant to help both students and their parents learn how to use energy more efficiently at home, resulting in big savings. Now take that savings even further by putting to use the savings tips below. Learn how you and your family can make a big impact on energy usage! All Savings Tips are derived from ENERGY STAR® and Energy.gov.
By adjusting your thermostat to a warmer setting in summer and a cooler setting in winter you could save up to $180 a year.
- Did you know that by adjusting your thermostat just one degree, your family can save as much as 3% on your home’s heating and cooling costs? Imagine how much energy could be saved in an entire year with this small change.
- For maximum savings, set your thermostat at or below 70°F during the day and 65°F at night in winter months. In the summer, set your air conditioner at or above 78°F during the day and 80°F at night.
- Make sure all the windows and doors in your house are closed before turning on either the furnace or air conditioner. More energy is spent on heating and cooling our homes than anything else.
- Can you feel or hear the wind coming in through your windows or doors, even when they are shut? If you can feel a draft, use rope caulk or weather stripping to prevent air from coming in or going out.
- Make the most out of the air in your house by installing a fan. In the summer months, the fan should spin counter-clockwise to keep you cool. In the winter, put it in reverse and spin the fan to the right. And don’t forget to turn it off when you leave the room! A fan cooling the air for an empty room is only wasting precious resources.
- Keep the vents in your home clear. Less energy is used to get warm or cool air into a room when the vents are not blocked.
- Change air filters in your heating and cooling systems on a monthly basis so equipment runs more efficiently. Neglecting this necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning and heater performance while energy use steadily increases.
- Landscape your yard with shade trees and save 10% or more on your energy bill and contribute to better air quality. Shade trees are both a beautiful and cost-effective way to lower your energy use.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) not only use less energy but also last about 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Light-Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs are even more efficient than CFL bulbs. Read on to learn where you can replace and save.
- Replace your most-used 60-watt traditional incandescent bulb with the 9-watt LED light bulb found in your kit and save up to 78% of energy usage per bulb.
- Replace your most-used 60-watt traditional incandescent bulb with the 13-watt CFL found in your kit and save up to 47% of energy usage per bulb.
- Replace your most-used 100-watt traditional incandescent bulb with the 23-watt CFL found in your kit and save up to 77% of energy usage per bulb.
- Turn the lights off when you leave the room. If you frequently forget to turn off your light, use the sticker found in your Energy Savings Kit, or leave yourself a note right on the light switch reminding you to turn off that light!
- Whenever possible, use natural light from the sun to avoid using artificial lighting.
- Don’t forget about the lights on the outside of your house. Holiday lights can be replaced with LED holiday bulbs and save up to 10 times the energy. LED bulbs last for years longer than incandescents – up to 20 times longer and are cool to the touch, so they don’t pose a fire hazard.
Energy and water are connected. In many cases when you are saving energy, you are saving water as well. It takes energy to heat water, clean water, and bring the water to our homes. Water is a vital resource to our planet and our health. Read on to learn simple ways you can conserve.
- Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
- Only wash clothes when there is a full load to be washed and wash clothes in cold water to save both energy and hot water!
- While rinsing produce, collect the water that would otherwise run down the drain and use it to water houseplants.
- Set the timer and take short, five-minute showers instead of baths.
- Water plants when it is coolest outside. Just like watering your lawn during the hottest time of day, the water you feed your plants will evaporate. Water first thing in the morning or before going to bed at night and you will have healthier, happier plants, as well as more water saved.
- Install hose nozzles on your outside hoses to prevent water from being wasted. To save even more water, turn off the hose while you wash your car and save up to 100 gallons.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway, back patio, or sidewalk.
All of the appliances in your home use energy to run, but there are steps you can take to cut down on your usage, while improve your comfort at the same time.
- Use your major appliances, like the washing machine and dishwasher, during non-peak hours. For example, during summer months, washing your clothes after 8 p.m. may save energy and water.
- Use energy efficient setting on dishwasher or turn off the dishwasher before the drying cycle to let the dishes air dry.
- Even if you are using the appliances in your home the most efficient way, they could still be using more energy than necessary. Replace your old, inefficient appliances with those that have the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR-certified products use less energy.
- Clean the dryer lint trap after every load and wait to do laundry until you have a full load.
- Cooking dinner on the grill instead of in the oven or on the stove top can reduce your energy usage.
- Install an insulating blanket around the tank to make sure your water heater isn’t losing heat. Check with the manufacturer first before installing to avoid any warranty issues.
- Did you know your small appliances continue to drain energy even after they are turned off? To avoid energy use when your appliances are off, be sure to unplug your computer, TV, CD players, video game consoles, and other small appliances or use a smart power strip to reduce energy lost.
- If you have a fireplace in your home, check to see if the damper is open or closed. A damper left open when the heating or cooling system is on will allow heated or cooled air to escape up the chimney.