The major energy users in your home are heating system, air conditioning, electric water heater, refrigerator, dryer, lighting – all contribute to your overall monthly electricity bill. Below are few tips to help you use them more efficiently, lower your energy use and save money on your monthly electric bill.
Kitchen Energy Savers
- Use cold water rather than hot to operate your food disposal. Cold water also helps get rid of grease by solidifying it, so it then can be grounded up and washed away.
- Install an aerator in your kitchen sink faucet.
- Never boil water in an uncovered pan. Water will come to a boil faster and use less energy in a kettle or covered pan.
- Keep range top burners and reflectors clean. They will reflect heat better, and you will save energy.
- Match the size of the pan to the heating element. More heat will get to the pan and less will be lost to the surrounding air.
- Turn off the oven five to ten minutes before cooking time is up and let trapped heat finish the cooking.
- When using the oven, cook as many foods as you can at one time.
- Get in the habit of turning off the elements of surface units on your electric stove several minutes before completing the allotted cooking time.
- Avoid opening the oven door repeatedly to check food is cooking. This allows heat to escape and results in the use of more energy to complete the cooking of your food.
- Use pressure cookers and microwave ovens if you have them. They save energy by reducing cooking time.
- Use small electric cooking appliances or ovens for small meals rather than the kitchen range or oven. They use less energy.
- Don’t preheat the oven unless absolute necessary, and then for no more than 10 minutes.
- Avoid using the broiler. Is is a big energy user.
- Thaw frozen foods before cooking. It will save time and energy.
- Be sure your dishwasher is full but not overloaded when you turn it on.
- Scrape dishes and rinse with cold water from the faucet before loading them into the dishwasher.
- When buying a dishwasher, look for an energy efficient model with air power and overnight dry settings. This can save you 10 percent of your dish-washing energy costs.
- Don’t use the “rinse-hold” on your machine for just a few solid dishes. It uses 3-4 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
- If possible, don’t place your refrigerator or fridge in direct sunlight or near the stove.
- Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers. Never allow frost to build up more than 1/4 of an inch.
- Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door on a piece of paper or dollar bill so that it is half in and half out of the refrigerator.
- Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures: 38 degrees F. to 40 degrees F. for fresh food compartments of the refrigerator; 5 degrees F. for the freezer component.
Hot Water Heater
- Insulate the outside of your water heater with an insulation blanket to reduce heat loss and save $10 to $20 a year.
- Turn down the water heater temperature dial to 120 degrees F. or less, or to warm setting. If you have a dishwasher, be sure to check your manufacturer’s instructions for minimum water temperature.
- Buy a high-efficiency water heater. When you need a new water heater, purchase a unit with a high Energy Factor(EF) rating. The higher the rating, the more efficiently the unit will operate.
- Keep your heating equipment well tuned with periodic maintenance by professional service representative.
- Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans sparingly. You can blow away houseful of heat in just 2-3 hrs using ventilating fans. Turn them off when their job is complete.
- Turn down your thermostat at night or when you are away for more than four hours during the day. Do not turn off your heating system entirely as this may cause pipes to freeze.
- If you have a simple open fireplace, consider installing a glass screen, a radiant grate or fireplace insert. They will help cut down on the loss of warm air through the fireplace chimney.
- Maintain proper air circulation. Keep heating supply registers and cold-air return register clear of draperies and furniture.
- Set your thermostat at 68 degrees F. during the day and 60 degrees F. at night. You can save 3 percent on your heating costs for every degree you reduce the temperature below 70 degrees F. for the entire heating season.
- Clean or replace the filter in your forced-air heating system each month. Foam filters can be rinsed with water, but be sure they are dry before replacing.
- Keep draperies and shades open during the day to let the sunshine in; close them at night.
- Dust or vacuum radiator surfaces frequently. Dust and grime impede the flow of the heat.
- Don’t place lamps or television sets near your thermostat. Heat from these appliances is sensed by the thermostat and could cause your furnace to shut off sooner than is needed for adequate warmth.
- Check the duct work for air leaks about once a year if you have a forced-air heating system. To do this, feel around the duct joins for escaping air when the fan is on. Relatively small leaks can be easily repaired by covering holes or cracks with duct tape.