Conservation Conversation: Saving By Conserving at Home

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 Part 1: Six Ways to Save on Heating and Cooling

1. Optimize your thermostat by adjusting the temperature when you leave home so it's not heating or cooling unnecessarily.

2. Change your HVAC filter monthly, which can help your system to run on less energy.

3. Close curtains/blinds on hot days and open them on cold days.

4. Check weatherstripping on all exterior doors and replace when worn or missing.

5. Close fireplace dampers when not in use.

6. Make sure heating/cooling air grates aren't blocked by furniture or curtains.

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As you can see, heating and cooling make up more than half of the energy you use at home – therefore, they're the biggest portion of your utility bill.

By taking steps to use less energy for heating and cooling, you can save a significant amount of money every month. In fact, depending on the weather and the age of your home, you could save between 5% and 20% on utilities!

Try these tips and you're already on your way to saving by conserving!

 

Part 2: Six Ways to Save on Water Heating

How We Use Energy in Our Homes

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Though we may take hot water for granted, heating water (for showers, baths, your dishwasher, for example) is the second largest utility expense in your home, accounting for 18% of your energy usage. Do what you can to conserve … every little bit helps!

 

Saving on Water Heating

1. Shorter showers can save water – cutting back by two minutes can save five gallons – and energy.

2. Cooler showers can save energy on water heating AND BILLS. 

3. Running your dishwasher only when it’s full is most efficient.

4. Consider the cold water setting on your clothes washer, since most of the energy used is for heating the water.

5. Using cold or warm water for washing hands will get them just as clean as using hot water – and saves energy.

6. If shopping for a new clothes washer, look for the Energy Star rating.

 

How Much Electricity Do Appliances Use?

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Water heaters use the most electricity of any household appliance. The average household spends $400 to $600 per year on water heating, and every bit of saving can add up. Taking steps to use less energy for water heating is an easy way to save.
 
Try these tips and you’re already on your way to saving by conserving!

 

Part 3: 12 Ways to Save Money Washing & Drying Clothes


Your clothes washer & dryer together use the second-highest amount of electricity among household appliances. Loading and running your clothes washer & dryer appropriately can lead to significant energy savings. For example, using these suggestions with an Energy Star-rated washer & dryer can mean up to 30% savings when doing laundry.

Saving on Clothes Washing & Drying

1. Load items loosely in the washer, without overloading.

2. Wash clothes in cold water.

3. Choose high-efficiency detergent.
4. Use the right amount of detergent. (Use less if you have soft water, a smaller load, or a lightly soiled load, to maximize washer performance.)
5. Select the “Precise Fill” or similar setting if your washer has one.
6. Use your washer's high-speed or extended spin cycle to remove as much moisture as possible and reduce drying time.
7. As with the washer, don’t overload the dryer.
8. Clean the lint filter before each use.
9. Air dry when you can (to use your dryer less).
10. Use wool or rubber dryer balls to help clothes dry faster.
11. Try the cool-down cycle if your dryer has one; your clothes will finish drying with the remaining heat in the dryer.
12. Make sure the dryer vent (behind the machine) isn’t kinked or crushed up against the wall.

(And if you’re shopping for a new clothes washer and/or dryer, look for the Energy Star rating.)

 

How Much Electricity Do Appliances Use?

 

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Try these tips and you’re already on your way to saving by conserving! Stay tuned next month for saving by using your dishwasher most efficiently.

 

Part 4: Eight Ways to Save Money on Washing Dishes

The biggest way to save energy, water and MONEY is by using your dishwasher (rather than washing by hand) whenever possible. Running your dishwasher is much more efficient per dish in overall savings. While handwashing may save some energy, it uses much more water.

 

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Tips on Saving When Using Your Dishwasher

Strategically loading and running your dishwasher can save thousands of gallons of water a year – which can amount to hundreds of dollars – and an estimated up to $2 per month in energy costs.

  1. Pre-rinsing isn’t necessary. Instead, scrape food scraps into the trash. (A rubber spatula or similar works great.)
  2. Load your dishwasher properly: glasses and cups up top; plates and cookware on the bottom; soiled side of items facing center of rack.
  3. Run dishwasher only when full to optimize water and energy use.
  4. Use a rinse aid to enhance drying performance.
  5. Avoid heated drying. Opening the door at the end of the cycle to airdry saves energy.
  6. Don’t use the “hot start” setting. The “Normal” setting is designed to conserve both water and energy.
  7. Set dishwasher for the lightest cycle necessary. If dishes are only slightly soiled, use a lower setting.

Try these tips and you’re already on your way to saving by conserving! Stay tuned next month for saving by conserving water in your home.

 

 

 

 

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