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Install a programmable thermostat
Open shades/blinds during the day in the winter months and close then after sun down
Space Heating and cooling Use a wood stove Use a pellet stove Use an efficient gas fireplace or stove Turn your thermostat back 5 degrees Get a smaller house, or close off portions during the winter Use portable fans to circulate heat Re-line and insulate chimney to get the most heating benefit from stove. Burn well seasoned wood
Central Heating Swap out that old burner/furnace to a high efficiency Unit Change furnace filter often on hot air units Clean and adjust oil or gas burners (furnaces and boilers) Consider a motorized Damper Insulate all heating ducts, pipes and hot water pipes to R 5.0 Consider additional hot water tank insulation Insulate ,(R-5,0 or greater) and seal ducts , especially those traveling through unconditioned spaces. One of the more effective ways to increase a overall effeciency and heat loss prevention
Drop down second floor ceiling returns to high low controlled (with dampers) wall locations. If your home has only one central located hall return, then you should add separate bedroom returns
Home Cooling Shade windows during the summer Install a solar attic ventilation fan Consider a whole house fan instead of AC Plant or save shade trees
Space Cooling Use inexpensive window units to cool just the areas where you live
Home Building and Remodeling Consider having an energy audit and infired scan to help locate problem areas, that need attention. Many utility companies offer audits free to their customers Use compact fluorescent lighting Switch to LCD monitor and TV Insulate - attic, walls, floor (or basement walls) Build smaller, use space more efficiently LowE windows Caulk Unplug electronics (or use a programmable timer) when not in use. Standby uses energy too. Turn off lights when not occupying the area Thermal or insulated drapes/curtains on windows New construction - centrally interior locate fireplace/wood/pellet stove Plant deciduous trees on southern exposures Orientate you home to take advantages of collecting passive solar radiation. Once collected, incorporate solid storage mass to absorb heat after sun down energy Replace all major appliances with energy star rated ones Consider solar heating or hot water options. Possibly photoelectric as well Look into Geothermal heating and cooling systems Reduce northern exposure s to a miniun. Plant trees to the northern exposure to create a wind screen
Inside the home Use compact fluorescent bulbs throughout your house. 9 watts comsumtion=40watts light.13 watts consumed =60watt light.18 watts consumed =75 wt light &22wt;consumed =100 wt light. New 120volt led lights are here now, but currently expensive. They use even less electricity than compact fluorescents, but I am waiting for improvements in led tech to drop the price down. Don't open the front door & then turn around & start talking to your host. If you do, close the door to stop freezing out the room. Same goes for summer time, dont make your host loose all his air conditioned air, close the door. When taking showers: a. Save the cold water that you get from the shower at first instead of letting it run down the drain. b. Take a modified military shower. Get wet, turn water off. Now wash completely before turning shower on again. Use cold water for laundry. Wear your pants and shirts multiple times before you wash them. Eat off the same plate all day, or at least the same cup. Know what you want in the refrigerator before opening it. Get what you want and close the door ASAP. Same thing for entry doors. Open them and close them ASAP. That is summer and winter. In summer pull curtains early am to prolong time before starting air conditioner whenever possible. The new electric dish washers use less HOT water than washing dishes by hand & letting the dishes air dry by opening the dishwasher door will save you the cost of the electric drying cycle. Stop using the clothes dryer. Hang laundry indoors during the heating season to add humidity and hang clothes outside in the summer. The clothes dryer does a great job of moving your indoor air (heated or cooled) and moving it outside. home depot & lowes sells a redirector box with a built in flapper that hooks into your dryer discharge vent hose, for about $12.oo so that in the summer you vent hot air outside & in the winter , you activate the flapper to redirect the dryer's hot ,moist air inside the house to help heat & humidify the house. You will gain about 35,000 to 40,000 btu/hr. of hot moist air. It is better to hang up clothes, but I never will again so the redirector box was a great option for me. If you have an electric hot water heater, you could consider turning the breaker to the hot water heater "off" when you leave the house for the day & putting it back "on" when you return home, but it will take 1 hour for the water to reheat.Compair this to keeping the water hot all day with no one home. It costs about $1.oo to $2.oo/ day to keep water hot with no one home & no usage. Cost me about 36.oo /month when my rental apt went vacant & I forgot to turn "off"the hot water heater. Outside the home Collect rain water, use it to water your gardens. Make compost to avoid shopping for purchased soil amendments, and save on your trash disposal/pickup. Grow your own vegies and/or fruit.
Transportation Combine trips to as few times as possible Buy a smaller car or truck, honda civic & toyota corolla get 38 mpg,highway. I believe my 1.6 L civic gets 30 mpg in town. Toyota precis hybrid gets 51 mpg highway,41 mpg highway when recharging batteries & 65 mpg city, running all electric below 45mph. Other brand cars may get 34 up to 36mpg highway. thats epa estimates,your milage will vary depending on how many traffic jams you hit. Use a small trailer instead of a pickup truck. My honda civic still gets 36mpg highway towing a loaded 4'x8' trailer. Have a soft touch on the gas pedal Walk or bicycle Carpool with co-workers, neighbors to work or for shopping trips Keep tires inflated to proper levels In warmer months "fill up" only to 1/2 a tank Avoid the temptation to use the "drive thru" walk in instead Keep your car tuned up. USE public transportation Use AC instead of opening a window on the highway. Keep the exterior clean and waxed, whcih helps reduce drag. (this is NOT true!) Don't keep a lot of (heavy) crap inside your car, reduced mass equals improved economy. Keep the tailgate up on pickups. Don't idle your car to warm it up. Don't talk to your friends with the car window open & the engine running for 30 minutes or even 2 minutes. Shut engine off. Commercial Buildings Use warm air recovery for on fresh air ventilation Silver or white coat black tar roofs Use hot water recovery system to preheat incoming street water Capitalize on solar gain to heat water and generate power Insulate Install automatic room light shut offs for when unoccupied Install programmable thermostats and cover with lock boxes to prevent tampering. Tint major exposure windows to reflect solar radiation. Design, build and remodel for maximum natural light.