The secret to reducing your monthly energy bills is following the latest tips to cut down on your household’s everyday consumption, according to the Department of Energy.
1. Use the latest lightbulbs. Lighting-related costs add up to about 10 percent of your electric bill. Reduce your lighting usage by up to 75 percent by using the latest lighting technologies, including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diode (LED) lightbulbs.
2. Keep the wattage low. Make sure that your lightbulbs aren’t a higher wattage than the listed wattage for sockets.
3. Hit the pool. Use 75 percent less wattage than incandescent pool lights with white Pentair IntelliBrite LEDs, and save up to $1,500 a year by switching from a single-speed pump to an IntelliFlo variable-speed pump, part of the Eco Select family (www.pentairpool.com/calculators).
4. Install ceiling fans. You’ll be able to raise the thermostat for your air conditioner about 4 degrees without compromising relief from the heat.
5. Find and plug all air leaks. Save 5 to 30 percent on energy costs by caulking or weather stripping gaps where air flows: window frames, doors, baseboards, electrical outlets, mounted air conditioners, attic doors, fireplace dampers, pipes, wires, mail slots. If you can rattle or see daylight around a door or window, it’s likely leaking air.
6. Turn the water heater down. The energy used to heat your water accounts for up to 25 percent of your energy usage. Turn down the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees.
7. Set up a programmable thermostat. Cooling and heating systems account for about 56 percent of your energy use. Set your thermostat for the morning, day, evening, overnight and vacation to control costs.
8. Replace your old cooling and heating equipment. Installing a high-efficiency air conditioner can help reduce related energy costs 20 to 50 percent. And if your forced-air furnace is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it.
9. Remember your filters. Change the filters on your forced-air furnace and air-conditioning unit about every month or two and have professionals check them annually.
10. Explore your insulation. Seal any gaps around attic openings for pipes, ductwork and chimneys with expanding foam caulk or other permanent sealant. And make sure there’s a vapor barrier such as a plastic sheet or specialized paint beneath insulation, including the attic door.
Homeowners cut energy costs up to 90 percent with Eco Select equipment in their pools, the second-largest consumer of home energy after HVAC, according to Pentair Aquatic Systems.
(Sources: Department of Energy; ENERGY STAR; Pentair Aquatic Systems)
*Article courtesy of NAPS.*