Energy Conservation Tips
An energy dollar saved is a dollar earned. Whether you rent or own your home, the easiest ways to put extra dollars in your wallet is to cut down on unnecessary energy use. The following lists have suggestions on how to conserve energy and help lower your monthly utility bills with the Town of Wake Forest.
If your total energy costs are
You can save this amount if you reduce your energy use by
Turn off lights and appliances that are not being used.
Purchase energy efficient appliances.
Open drapes/blinds on the sunny side when heating.
Close drapes/blinds on the sunny side when cooling.
When cooling minimize activities that produce moisture; i.e., cooking, bathing and laundering.
Conserve hot water. Use lower temperature settings when possible.
Take showers rather than tub baths. Don't leave the shower running while shaving or brushing your teeth. Install a $15 water-saver showerheads, and you can save $10 per year in hot water energy costs.
Repair leaky faucets and running toilets.
Keep water heater thermostat as low as possible. A setting of 120 degrees is usually adequate, but will not sterilize dishes. New water heaters are set at 120 degrees from the factory, but most over 10 years old have much higher settings.
For both heating and cooling, set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature and leave it. Each degree you raise the thermostat increases the heating cost 5%. Each degree you lower the thermostat increases the cooling cost about 3%.
Clean or replace the filter at least once a month. This helps keep the heating/cooling system at it highest efficiency.
Have the system serviced annually.
A whole-house attic fan might be a better cooling substitute for present air
Try these temperature levels: Cooling Season - 76 to 78 degrees; Heating Season - 66 to 68 degrees
Use clothes dryer only with a full load.
Clean clothes dryer filter after each use.
Use dishwasher only with a full load.
Wash clothes in cold water when possible.
Have a full load when washing clothes.
Don't leave refrigerator or freezer doors open unnecessarily.
Purchase appliances that are energy efficient. Pay attention to the energy saving features and design.
Caulk around windows and doors.
Caulk cracks and penetrations in the exterior.
Insulate the ceiling, walls and floor.
Install storm windows or insulated windows.
Have duct system sealed.
Keep foundation vents closed in the winter.
Enclose crawl space.
Keep fireplace dampers closed when the fireplace is not in use.
Plant deciduous trees on the sunny side of house.
Use whole house fans only when not heating or cooling the house.
Buy a better light bulb. Use energy-saver bulbs. Use lower wattage bulbs, but don't use many smaller bulbs when fewer, larger ones will do the job. Higher wattage bulbs are more energy efficient than lower wattage ones.
Examples of monthly costs on appliances:
Refrigerator (frost-free 17.5 cu.ft.)
$12.64 per month
Dishwasher, normal cycle
.29 per load
Television (color, solid state)
.01 per hour
Freezer (frost-free 16.5 cu.ft.)
14.44 per month
4.94 per month
Websites That Offer Energy Conservation Tips
- Energy Efficiency Guide - Save Money on Home Energy Costs
US Dept of Energy: Tips on saving energy and money at home.
Advanced Energy: Located in Raleigh. Offers information on energy efficient homes.
Home Energy Saver: Tips on making houses energy efficient.
Home Energy Online: Tips on energy efficiency.
Southface: Tips on energy conservation.
US Dept of Energy: Tips on energy conservation.
- A Guide to Green Loans and Energy Efficient Tax Credits: What are Green Loans and Tax Credits?
- Solar Power: Solar Energy insights