energy saving tips

Energy Saving Tips

Save Energy in your Home or Small Business.

You can choose to save energy and help our environment; it’s easy!

Proper disposal or recycling of your CFL is important because it contains a small amount (3 to 15 mg) of mercury. Massachusetts EPA has qualified a number of locations where these lamps can be recycled. Find a CFL collection site near you.
Always turn off lights when you leave a room and think about how many lights you really need on when you are in the room.

Use compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in fixtures throughout your home to provide high-quality and high-efficiency lighting. CFLs are much more efficient than incandescent (standard) bulbs and last up to seven years, which saves you the expense and hassle of frequent light bulb replacements. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%.  Moreover, each CFL can prevent the emission of between 1,000-2,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

The best targets for conversion to CFLs are 60-100W bulbs used several hours a day. CFL bulbs now come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes making it possible to replace almost any incandescent bulb. Some newer CFLs are also capable of producing a warmer light which is closer to the light produced by incandescents than that produced by some earlier CFLs. There are guides to help you select the right CFL for your fixture.

Windows account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill.  If your home has single-pane windows consider replacing them. New double-pane windows that are gas filled with low emissivity (low-e) coatings on the glass will reduce heat loss.
During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Unplug appliances that you are not using; many draw electricity even when not in use. Turn off your computer if you will be away from it for more than an hour, set it to sleep or stand by when you have not touched if for a few minutes. Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment or appliances.

For furnaces, look for high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings. The national minimum is 78% AFUE, but there are Energy Star models on the market that exceed 90% AFUE.

For air conditioners, look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The current minimum is 13 SEER for central air conditioners. Energy Star models are 13 SEER or more.

10 Tips For Saving In Spring

1. Service your air conditioner. Easy maintenance such as routinely replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Also, the first day of spring could serve as a reminder to check your air conditioner’s evaporator coil, which should be cleaned annually to ensure the system is performing at optimal levels.

2. Open windows. Opening windows creates a cross-wise breeze, allowing you to naturally cool your home without switching on air conditioners. This is an ideal tactic in spring when temperatures are mild.

3. Use ceiling fans. Cooling your home with ceiling fans will allow you to raise your thermostat four degrees. This can help lower your electricity bills without sacrificing overall comfort.

4. Cook outside. On warmer spring days, keep the heat out of your home by using an outdoor grill instead of indoor ovens.

5. Install window treatments. Energy efficient window treatments or coverings such as blinds, shades and films can slash heat gain when temperatures rise. These devices not only improve the look of your home but also reduce energy costs.

6. Caulk air leaks. Using low-cost caulk to seal cracks and openings in your home keeps warm air out — and cash in your wallet.

7. Bring in sunlight. During daylight hours, switch off artificial lights and use windows and skylights to brighten your home.

8. Set the thermostat. On warm days, setting a programmable thermostat to a higher setting when you are not at home can help reduce your energy costs by approximately 10 percent.

9. Seal ducts. Air loss through ducts can lead to high electricity costs, accounting for nearly 30 percent of a cooling system’s energy consumption. Sealing and insulating ducts can go a long way toward lowering your electricity bills.

10. Switch on bathroom fans. Bathroom fans suck out heat and humidity from your home, improving comfort.

Check out our home cooling and landscaping infographics for more ways to cut energy costs this spring. And visit Energy Saver for additional tips on improving your home’s energy efficiency.

ref: energy. gov/articles/10-energy-saving-tips-spring