Are You Energywise

Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Knowing how we use energy in the home is the first step toward becoming more energy efficient consumers. Energy efficiency is important because greater efficiency means a reduction in the amount of energy consumed, a reduction in energy expenses, and a reduction in the emission of pollutants.

Heating and cooling account for most of the energy consumed in your home by far. Water heating, refrigeration, and other home appliances are big energy consumers as well. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provides some useful and practical information on conservation and energy efficiency that you may find helpful. You'll find some of the DOE information below, and we've added a few tips as well.

How air moves in and out of your home effects the amount of energy consumed for heating and cooling. Air moves through every opening: plumbing penetrations, windows, doors, fans, vents, ducts, floors, walls, ceilings, fireplaces, and electrical outlets. These are all potential sources of air transfer.

Your water heating bills can be reduced by using less hot water, turning down the thermostat, and insulating the water heating unit. You may also want to consider buying a more energy efficient water heater. For example, a tankless gas water heater is the most efficient way to heat water. It only heats water when you need it. And, It operates cleanly; meeting or exceeding the latest federal standards for NOx emissions.

  • Tips For Using Energy Wisely

    You'll find some easy to do tips below that may apply to your home. Tips that can reduce energy consumption and lower energy bills:

    Heating (1,2,4,8)

    Keep your heating-cooling equipment in good repair. Equipment operating at peak efficiency can reduce fuel consumption.

    • Insulate. Proper insulation can reduce the energy needed to heat and cool your home by as much as 20 to 30 percent.
    • Change or clean furnace filters once a month during the heating season. Furnaces consume less energy if they “breathe” more easily.
    • Open your draperies or blinds on sunny days to allow the sun’s heat to warm your home.
    • Caulk or seal air leaks around plumbing, electrical wiring and exterior penetrations on walls, floors, or ceilings (a, b, d,g, h).
    • Eliminate air leaks around doors, windows, and baseboards (a,e,f).
    • Place a throw rug at the bottom of exterior doors to keep cold air from coming inside.
    • Check heating ducts and repair or seal ducts that may be leaking.
    • Keep the fireplace damper closed when the fireplace is not in use (c).
    • Insulate attics and walls.
    • Use insulated switch and outlet covers on exterior walls (h).
    • Consider zone space heating equipment like gas logs. Their 99.9% efficient. Nearly all the energy input produces heat.

    Water Heating (6,7)

    Tips for reducing the amount of energy used to heat water:

    • Take a shower instead of a bath – a bath can use 15 – 25 gallons of hot water compared to the 10 gallons used for a 5 minute shower.
    • Lower the thermostat setting on your water heater
    • Only operate the dishwasher or washing machine when they are fully loaded.
    • Install showerheads and faucets with water-flow restrictors.
    • Use cold water to wash clothing whenever possible.
    • Repair leaky faucets to avoid wasting water.
    • Consider upgrading to a more efficient water heater.

    Cooking

    Cook with energy savings in mind. Your gas range uses less energy than any other kind of range. But, for even greater economy when cooking follow these tips:

    • Cover pans: use only as much flame as necessary (Remember that slightly boiling water cooks foods at the same temperature as water that is rapidly boiling).
    • Pressure cooker: use a pressure cooker more often since it cooks food fast over low heat.
    • Cook in one place: try cooking meals in one place - all in your oven or the broiler.
    • Preheat only when necessary: don't preheat for meats and casseroles, Use your exhaust fan sparingly.
    • Covered kettle: use a covered kettle or pan to boil water; it’s faster and it uses less energy.

    Laundry (9)

    • Don’t overload or over dry clothes.
    • Aim for full loads, but don’t overload or over dry.
    • Keep the lint screen clean and your dryer in good repair.
    • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter weight clothes.
    • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked.
    • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold water detergents when possible.
    • Wash and dry full loads. If you’re washing a small load, use the appropriate water level.

    Follow these important guidelines to reduce energy waste and make your home more energywise. You'll have better control of your energy costs, too.

    Resources for additional information on conservation and weatherization are listed below:

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  • Energywise Heating & Cooling

    When replacing your heating and cooling system, it's important to choose a licensed and qualified contractor to ensure proper sizing, installation, and peak performance. We've provided a quick reference list below of some of the areas most respected heating and air conditioning contractors. These Energywise qualified contractors offer heating and air conditioning services for residential and commercial structures, as well as Energywise financing, an affordable method for financing your heating and air conditioning purchase.

  • Building an Energywise Home

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  • Energywise Water Heating & Plumbing

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  • Schedule an Energy Audit

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  • Financing Options for Natural Gas Appliances

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  • Energywise Resources