Tips for Saving on Energy Costs Year-Round
Contact: Nikki Krueger
Madison, Wis. (August 10, 2005) -- According to a USA Today/Gallup Poll, the price of gas is creating financial hardship for 58 percent of Americans. As a solution, The Alliance to Save Energy suggests energy efficiency. The simplest place for consumers to start saving energy is at home.
- Saving energy also saves money. By using energy-efficient products, the average household can save up to $400 per year on utility bills.
- The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimates that if each of us increases the energy-efficiency in our major appliances by 10 - 30 percent, we will release the demand for electricity by the equivalent of 25 large power plants.
The gaps around the windows and doors in an average American house are the equivalent of a 3 foot by 3 foot hole in the wall. Caulk and weather-strip to seal off these air leaks. Stopping air leaks in a home can save as much as 40 percent on your home's heating and cooling costs.
- Stop air from escaping under doors with "sweeps" or "shoes" attached to the bottom.
- Use window putty to seal gaps around loose window panes.
- Electric outlets -- Install foam gaskets behind all the light switches and electrical outlet covers, even interior walls. These simple foam gaskets help seal the holes created when the outlets and light switches are built into homes. Then use child safety plugs to keep the cold air from coming in through the sockets.
Programmable thermostats that have earned the ENERGY STAR help you save money and keep your home comfortable by automatically adjusting your temperature settings while you are asleep or away, saving you about $100 per year.
In a typical two-story home, the upstairs can be up to 10 degrees warmer than downstairs. One solution to help regulate uneven temperatures is a temperature control system that divides the house into separate zones, like those offered by Aprilaire. These systems use multiple thermostats and dampers in the heating and cooling duct work that control temperature in separate areas to deliver conditioned air only to the part of the house that needs it. The result is greater comfort and convenience, as well as energy savings of up to 20 percent
Install a ceiling fan in the largest room of your house. This will allow you to lower the setting on your air conditioner 3 to 6 degrees, which will save up to 25 percent of energy costs of home cooling.
Save over $125 annually by following these three simple steps
1. Replace 3 old style light bulbs with modern fluorescent twisters
2. Set your heat at 68 in winter and your AC at 78 in summer
3. Unplug 3 appliances - or switch off a power strip full of plugs - when not