Monday, September 01, 2014
 
 
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 Home Energy Conservation Tips!

Home Energy Conservation Tips

Save resources and money — and, if you do it right, you don’t have to be uncomfortable.

Seal Up Your Home

  • Insulate! Check the attic, outside walls, walls next to unheated areas, floors above unheated areas, foundation walls. We recommend R-38 (about 12 inches) in ceilings and R-19 (about 6 inches) in floors over unheated spaces

  • Insulate ducts where they run through cold areas

  • Install storm windows and doors or use plastic sheeting

  • Weather-strip and caulk! Check for drafts around windows, door frames, foundation cracks, electrical outlets, etc.

  • Don’t block radiators and vents (including cold air returns) with furniture, drapes or rugs

  • Insulated attics need proper ventilation so they can ‘breathe'

Maintain Electrical Equipment

  • Maintain your heating and cooling system by replacing air filters often and doing regular maintenance

  • Buy energy efficient appliances and use them efficiently

  • Clean dust and lint away from appliances (heating/cooling unit, refrigerators, hot water heaters, etc.) on a regular basis so the motors run more efficiently

  • When choosing new appliances, base your decision on what your needs are - don’t buy something too big for your needs

  • Consider moving your extra refrigerator or freezer out of the garage to the basement and your appliance won’t have to work so hard to stay cool

  • Make sure gaskets on the doors of refrigerators and stoves are tight

Live An Energy-Efficient Lifestyle

  • Light only the area where you are working, not the whole room

  • Turn off lights and appliances when they are not being utilized

  • Close vents in rooms that are not being used on a regular basis and close the door

  • Run full loads in dishwashers and washing machines

  • Choose stove burner to fit the size of the pan you are using

During Cold Weather:

  • Open window shades that receive direct sunlight during the day

  • Close shades at night

  • Set the thermostat at 68 degrees and lower the setting a few degrees at night, or when home is unoccupied

  • Wear layers of clothing and use extra blankets

  • Keep fireplace chimney dampers closed when not using the fireplace

During Hot Weather:

  • Leave window shades that receive direct sunlight down during the day

  • Try to use the oven, dishwasher and other appliances that produce heat during the late evening and early morning

  • Set the thermostat no lower than 78 degrees and turn it up a few degrees when the house is unoccupied

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes

    
 The Why and How of Water Conservation

It's hard to imagine running out of water, but it could happen. Between 1950 and 2000, the population in the United States doubled while public demand for more water more than tripled. This demand, coupled with the recent drought conditions, stresses water supplies and distribution systems. The good news is there are plenty of small things you can do to conserve water and help avert future water shortages. 

Water your lawn only in the cool parts of the day to minimize evaporation. How much is this? Place a tuna or cat food can on the lawn in reach of the sprinkler. When your can is full your lawn has had sufficient watering. Light Sprinklings tends to evaporate quickly and encourage shallow root growth. Heavy sprinklers run off and waster water. Purchase and install a rain barrel to store rainwater and reuse to irrigate your yard, flowers, and garden. Avoid watering the driveway and street too! Buy a trigger nozzle for your hose rather than letting the water run out. Use reclaimed greywater, if available (see www.greywaterguerillas.com) Also, cover swimming pools when not in use to help eliminate evaporation.

Every Drop Counts- If you ever wonder whether the small changes you make really matter, consider this; each of us uses an average of 100 gallons of water per day- enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses! Just think how much water you can conserve if your whole family becomes more water wary. Here are some easy ways:

1. Cook Smart- Peel and clean vegetables in a bowl of water instead of under running water.

2. Slow the Flow- Install a slow flow faucet to reduce water consumption up to 50 percent.

3. Shorten Showers- Take short showers instead of baths, and consider using a shower timer. To make it fun for kids, turn it into a game to see who can get the most "squeaky clean" in under three minutes!

4. Test Your Tank- Add 12 drops of food coloring to your toilet tank and wait an hour. Look to see if any color seeped through the tank, a fitting or into the toilet bowl. If so, you may have a leak.

5. Let It Grow- Raise your lawnmower blade to at least three inches; taller grass holds soil moisture better.

6. Sweep Up- Clean the sidewalk and driveway with a broom instead of a hose to save hundreds of gallons of water.

7. Speak Up- When you see an open hydrant, errant sprinkler or broken pipe, tell the property owner, local authorities or your local Water Department.

8. Look for Leaks- Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is used. If it doesn't read exactly the same, you have a leak.

9. Tap Out- Instead of letting the tap run until water gets cold, keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator, and use it to refill certified reusable water bottles instead of opting for single-use plastic ones.

10. Tap In- Place a bucket in your shower to capture the water that runs while you're waiting for it to get hot. Use the water to water plants.

11. Watch for Water Sense- When you shop for plumbing fixtures, look for the Environmental Protection Agency's Water Sense label, which means they meet strict criteria for efficiency and performance.

12. Go to the carwash- Water in most car washes is reclaimed (re-used) so the total amount of freshwater used is reduced.

13. Brushing Teeth- Turn the faucet off when brushing. This saves 5-10 gallons/person/day

14. Faucet Aerator- Install a faucet aerator in your bathroom and sink. This saves 5-10 gallons/person/day in bathroom and 10-20 gallons/person/day.

15. Toilet Tummy- Install a toilet tummy in your toilet and please do not use your toilet as a trash can.  This saves 5-10 gallons/person/day and 3-7 gallons/flush

16. Water-saving Shower Head- Install a water-saving shower head in your bathroom.

Please visit the following websites for more information on water:

http://www.epa.gov/watersense/water_efficiency/index.html

http://www.epa.gov/watersense/products/index.html

For conservation devises check with your local plumbing supply store.

 

    
 
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