Energy Efficiency in the Home
|Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). More|
|Caulk around the windows and doors to prevent air leakage. More|
|Weather strip around doors to prevent air leakage. More|
|Turn off lights when you leave a room. More|
|Turn off and unplug appliances and electronics when they are not in use. Many devices, such as televisions and computers, still use power even when they are turned off. Unplugging these devices is the best way to make sure they are not using power. More|
|Use ceiling fans to cool your home instead of turning down the air conditioner. More|
|Clean or replace the filters for your air conditioner. Dirty filters can make the system work harder and use more power. More|
|Shade the area around the air conditioner unit outside your house. But make sure to keep the area free from high grass, branches, and debris. More|
Energy Conservation Tips
|Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.|
|When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans in occupied rooms to feel cooler.|
|When away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees and turn all fans off before you leave. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that will get direct sun.|
Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
|Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.|
|Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.|
|Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or evening instead of the afternoon.|
Water Conservation Tips
|Check faucets and pipes for leaks. A small drip from a loose or worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.|
|Check your toilets for leaks. Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.|
|Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks. Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.|
|Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators.|
|Insulate your water pipes. It's easy and inexpensive to insulate your water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You'll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.|
|Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads.|
|Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants. Many beautiful shrubs and plants thrive with far less watering than other species.|
|Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth.|
|Deep-soak your lawn. When watering the lawn, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems.|
|Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings. Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they're not as visible, but they can be just as wasteful as leaks indoors.|
8 Tips For Light Bulb Shopping
New standards give consumers new lighting choices that are 25-30 percent more efficient than the decades-old, incandescent bulbs. Contrary to reports, incandescent lights are NOT banned—they are simply becoming more efficient.
Not only will these new light bulbs cut your energy bills, they’ll improve the environment by
reducing emissions from power plants due to less energy consumption.
Here’s what you need to know the next time you are looking for a new light bulb:
- Know Your Choices. There are 3:
Halogen incandescents—These look like the older bulbs, but use 25-30 percent less energy
and can last up to three times longer. A new 72-watt, energy-saving, incandescent bulb,
which replaces the old 100-watt, bulb will cost about $1.50. But each one will save you about
$3.00 over its lifetime.
Compact fluorescent lamps—CFLs are your best value. They use about 75 percent less energy
than older bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. A $2.00 CFL will save you up to $50 over
the bulb’s lifetime.
Light-Emitting Diodes—LEDs will last up to 25 years (based upon usage of 3hr/day) and
save 75 percent, or more, in energy costs—but they will cost you more to buy than the other
choices. Even though LEDs today cost around $25 per bulb, they’ll still save you around
$150 over their 25-year lifetime. As they become more common, you can expect their
prices to go way down.
Use lumens, not watts, to get the right brightness: Watts are the amount of energy used, not how bright the light is. Lumens indicate brightness. The lumen-watt equivalents to the old incandescents are approximately:
- 40 watts = 450 lumens
- 60 watts = 800 lumens
- 75 watts = 1,100 lumens
- 100 watts = 1,600 lumens
In other words, if you are trying to replace your old, inefficient, 60-watt, incandescent bulb with a
bulb that gives off the same amount of light, look for one around 800 lumens.
Check the Light “Color”: Light color is measured on the Kelvin (K) temperature scale. Lower K numbers means more yellow light and higher K numbers mean whiter or bluer light. To match the color of older, traditional incandescents, often described as “warm white”, look for 2,700-3,000 K. For a whiter light, look for 3,500 to 4,100 K, and for a bluer light, look for 5,000-6,500 K.
- Read the package: A Lighting Facts label will be required on packages for most bulbs manufactured after January 1, 2012. As shown below, it will tell you the brightness in lumens, estimated yearly energy cost, expected bulb life, light appearance (“warm” or “cool”), wattage (energy used) and whether it meets Energy Star standards (See #8). The label will also tell you if the bulb contains mercury.
- The Mercury Question: CFLs contain a small amount of mercury (typically less than 3 mg.) to produce light. Three milligrams is an infinitesimal amount compared with old thermometers, which contained 500 mg of mercury. Even with the small amount of mercury, CFLs actually reduce mercury in the environment because they reduce the amount of mercury produced by power plants. Intact and in use, CFLs release no mercury. However, like nearly everything else in your house, they need to be properly recycled and cleaned up, if broken. Many retailers recycle CFLs for free.
Go to www.epa.gov/cfl for more information.
- Check Carefully for Dimming: Not every LED or CFL bulb is dimmable, so check then packaging.
Get the Right Bulb for Down Lights or Recessed Lighting: Do not use a pear shaped or spiral CFL bulb inside a recessed ceiling can--they won’t shine the light down where you want it. Instead, choose an LED, CFL, or halogen reflector or flood light.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR label: CFLs and LEDs with the Energy Star Label meet specific performance standards and are subjected to independent testing to help ensure a high level of efficiency and quality. Beware, not all lights qualify. Check out: www.energystar.gov for more info.
The Department of Energy’s ‘Energy Savers’ Website at: www.energysavers.gov/your_home/lighting_daylighting/index.cfm/mytopic=11975
- LUMEN : www.lumennow.org
The National Resources Defense Council’s Light Bulb Guide: www.nrdc.org/energy/lightbulbs/files/lightbulbguide.pdf
Energy Efficiency Links
For more information on energy efficiency programs, helpful tips, and energy-saving products, visit the links below.