Ultimate Guide to Home Energy Savings

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Here’s a simple checklist to give you an idea of the things you can learn about in this guide:

To Do Today:

  1. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands.
  2. Chick if your water heater has an insulating blanket. An insulating blanket will pay for itself in one year or less.
  3. If you have one of those “silent guzzlers,” a waterbed, make your bed today. The covers will insulate it, and save up to one-third of the energy it uses.
  4. Start using energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers.
  5. Survey your incandescent lights for opportunities to replace them with compact fluorescents. These new lamps can save three-quarters of the electricity used by incandescents. The best targets are 60-100W bulbs used several hours a day. Measure the clearance in the fixtures to make sure they will accommodate compact fluorescents, which are slightly bigger than incandescents.
  6. Check the age and condition of your major appliances, especially the refrigerator. You may want to replace it with a more energy-efficient model before it dies.
  7. Clean or replace furnace, air-conditioner, and heat-pump filters.

To Do, This Week:

  1. Visit the hardware store. Buy a water-heater blanket, low-flow shower-heads, faucet aerators, and compact fluorescents, as needed. Save gas and time -- order online here.
  2. Rope caulk very leaky windows.
  3. Assess your heating and cooling systems. Determine if replacements we justified, or whether you should retrofit them to make them work more efficiently—to provide the same comfort (or better) for less energy.

Next: Home Energy Checklist for Action

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