Lowering your heating and
The majority of your energy budget is spent heating and
cooling your home.
By maintaining your heating and cooling systems you can save money and
Your Air Conditioner
- Select an air conditioner with a high Energy
Efficiency Rating (EER) and cut your cooling costs down significantly.
Your upgrade will pay for
- Save money and extend the life of your system by
your air conditioner.
- Check your filter every three or four weeks and
replace or clean as
- Hire a qualified technician to clean your coils and
check your equipment
- Keep air flow vents open and unobstructed and
- Fans improve the air circulation in your
home, making your
furnace and air conditioner’s job easier.
- Ceiling fans use only one-tenth the electricity of a
- Full-house attic fans push hot air out and draw cool
night air in.
- Small attic fans remove hot air trapped in attics.
- Exhaust fans control humidity in your home.
- Most consumers require the services of electricians
to install attic, ceiling and exhaust fans.
- Exhaust fans require a duct leading outdoors to
prevent grease and
moisture buildup in your walls and attic.
Great for setting a mood and making rooms cozy,
fireplaces send most of
their heat right up the chimney. Here are a few tips for making your
as energy efficient as possible:
- Keep the damper closed when fireplace is not in use.
- Burn low to medium sized fires.
- Use long logs that offer greater surface area and
reflect more heat.
- Use a cast iron "fireback" placed near the rear wall
of the fireplace
to reflect heat into the room.
- If your fireplace has glass doors, use them to cut
down the amount
of air drawn from the rest of your home.
- Provide combustion air from outdoors through a duct
to your fireplace.
Managing Your Thermostat
By knowing where to locate your thermostat and how and
when to adjust
it, you can save more on your heating and cooling costs.
- For an accurate indoor temperature reading, locate
on an interior wall and away from appliances that give off heat.
- If you plan to be away from home, or when you go to
bed at night,
turn your thermostat down in winter and up in summer to
- When you are home, set the thermostat at a constant
your system works efficiently and you save energy dollars.
- You can install a programmable thermostat with a
built-in timer to automatically regulate your heating and air
- Your thermostat is a precise, delicate instrument
that does not require regular cleaning. For best results, occasionally
remove the cover and gently
blow out any dust or lint that has accumulated.
- An older thermostat of 15 years or more may
need to be replaced
with a new, efficient model.
Your personal comfort is affected by humidity as well as
Moist air feels warmer than dry air. Save energy dollars by retaining
in the winter and expelling it with exhaust fans during summer. Steam
showers, cooking and laundry add to your indoor humidity. Humidifying
either freestanding or installed, will also add moisture to your air.
Energy efficiency pays. It produces long-term
savings on your
energy bill, improves productivity and saves valuable resources.
Using Electricity Efficiently
Whether it’s hot, cold or in
between, the time’s
always right to use energy wisely!
In the summer …
- Take cool baths or showers
- Use fans to circulate the air
- Stay out of direct sunlight
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes
- Avoid hot foods and heavy meals
- Drink water frequently—whether you feel thirsty or
- Seek medical help if you experience dizziness/dry
skin (with no sweating)
great weakness, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. If you feel
consciousness or confusion, develop a throbbing headache, experience a
heartbeat, breathing problems, chest pains or cramps—all could be signs
If you have an air conditioner …
- Keep your air conditioner in the shade.
- Cool only the rooms you use, but don't close all
- Turn your thermostat up when you leave the house for
- Don't switch your air conditioner to a colder
setting when you turn
it on or adjust it throughout the day. Set the thermostat at 78 degrees
- Don’t place your thermostat on an external wall or
that give off heat.
- Gently blow out any dust or lint out of your
- A timer or programmable thermostat can be used to
turn your air conditioner
on before you get home. Make sure your air conditioner coils are clean.
- Check your filter at the beginning of the cooling
- Keep the heat out by drawing shades and curtains on
- If you have exhaust fans in your bathroom, laundry
and kitchen, use them to help reduce the humidity burden on your air
conditioner. These fans
should not be used continuously, but periodically, as required.
- Help protect the ozone layer by repairing leaks in
home and auto air conditioning systems. To learn more, contact the U.S.
Agency in Kansas City at 1 (800) 223-0425.
In the winter ...
Compact Flourescent Lighting
- Install storm windows and caulking to keep cold air
out and warm air
- Use weatherstripping around doors.
- Blown insulation for attics and walls is an
- Have a qualified technician check your furnace
the heating season starts.
- Use an insulating blanket on your hot water heater
and wrap insulation around your hot water pipes to reduce heat loss.
Reverse ceiling fans to
circulate warm air.
- Glass doors for fireplaces save energy and heat.
- Consider an electric heat pump for year-round
comfort, winter and
Many of us don't think twice about replacing a burned
out light bulb in
our homes. Although relatively simple in design and low in efficiency,
incandescent light bulb has changed little over its 120-year history,
it remains the residential light source of choice.
However, over the last 20 years, a new light source has
emerged into a
multi-million dollar market. Using refined and scaled-down designs from
bigger, tube-shaped cousin — the fluorescent bulb — the compact
lamp (CFL) has found its way into many homes. The first CFLs were used
Europe and Asia in primarily commercial and retail applications,
offices and public spaces.
A 100-watt incandescent bulb, which typically lasts
about 1,000 hours,
can now be replaced by a 25-watt CFL, lasting 10,000 hours. Not only
one save on the cost of 10 bulbs — equaling at least $5.00 — but at 7.2
per kilowatt-hour, an additional $54.00 would be saved in
the 10,000 hour life of the bulb. That's at least a $59.00 saving
bulb. The CFL purchase cost would be approximately $8.00-11.00,
resulting in a net savings of up to $51.00 per bulb.
A variety of CFLs are now available. The newest are
spiral shaped and
have electronic circuitry. The spirals are not much larger than the
bulbs they replace. Some CFLs (including spirals) are offered as a
design, where only the glass portion of the bulb is discarded after
The glass portion "plugs in" to the electronic "ballast" in the plastic
base. Spiral CFLs also best match the ball shape light pattern produced
incandescent bulbs, making them ideal for table lamps.
Over the last several years many CFL manufacturers in
Asia and Europe
had been aggressively competing with American manufacturers. The bottom
is that these products have become much more affordable and available.
the energy efficient CFLs makes sense, even in places where residential
is relatively low in cost.
CFLs are now available in a floodlight shape design
(built on reflector)
which can be used for recessed or track lighting applications. The vast
of these have the replaceable glass portion as well as a detachable
Some non-dimming CFL floodlight models are rated for
outdoor use in the
weather and can replace some of those expensive lower-wattage halogen
bulbs we use to light our decks, yards and patios.
The plug-in CFLs used in the new floor lamps will last 8-10
than halogen, which costs about $4.00 per bulb.
Today's CFLs are virtually indistinguishable in color
from the incandescent
bulbs they replace. Wattages for the electronic spiral versions range
11 to 30 watts:
- The 11-watt, the smallest size spiral
replaces a 40-watt
- The 15-watt replaces a 60-watt bulb.
- The 20-watt replaces a 75-watt bulb.
- The 25 or 26-watt models replace the 100-watt
Here are some tips for using CFLs to light your home:
- Unless specified on the box, never use CFLs in
sockets on dimmers,
even if the dimmers are turned up to full brightness. This will cause
very short life and poor performance.
- CFLs may be used outdoors, provided they are
from the weather and are rated for cold temperatures. Most electronic
will start down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit, some down to -22 degrees
Always read the box before purchasing.
- CFLs should never be used in very warm or hot
locations, such as in
ovens, over range tops, saunas, attics, etc., as this will result in a
short life with no return on investment. Some high wattage CFLs may not
suitable for use in totally enclosed (unvented) light fixtures.
- The life of all fluorescent bulbs including CFLs is
they are not frequently switched on or off. Avoid use in bathrooms,
closets, pantries, etc.
- Your greatest and quickest savings will result in
areas where you
have more hours of continuous burning on a regular basis, such as
home offices, living areas, dens and outdoor lighting on all night.