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Tips for Home Energy Savings
By Dave Rongey
Summary: Energy-efficient improvements that will help reduce your home utility bills bills and improve your overall home efficiency.
Energy Efficient Measures to Reduce Your Energy Bills
Install these energy efficient measures
Replace and recycle your old refrigerator and purchase an energy efficient model. Units only 10 years old can use twice as much electricity as a new ENERGY STAR® labeled model.
Insulate ceilings to R-30 standards if your attic has less than R-19.
Caulk windows, doors and anywhere air leaks in or out. Do not caulk around water heater and furnace exhaust pipes.
Weather strip around windows and doors.
Wrap heating and cooling ducts with duct wrap, or use mastic sealant.
Install energy saver showerheads.
When buying new appliances, be sure to purchase energy efficient ENERGY STAR® labeled models.
Set the furnace thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, and the air-conditioner thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting. 3 to 5 percent more energy is used for each degree the furnace is set above 68 degrees and for each degree the air conditioner is set below 78 degrees.
If your old air conditioner is on its way out replace it with ENERGY STAR® labeled energy-efficient model.
Use compact fluorescent lamps. You can lower your lighting bill by converting to energy-efficient low-wattage compact fluorescent lighting and fixtures.
Replace old windows with new high performance dual pane windows.
Clean or replace furnace and air-conditioner filters regularly, following manufacturer's instructions.
Set the water heater thermostat at 140 degrees or "normal." If you have a dishwasher. Otherwise, set it at 120 degrees or "low." Check your dishwasher manual to see if you can use 120 degree water. Follow the manufacturer's directions on yearly maintenance to extend the life of your unit.
Fix defective plumbing or dripping faucets. A single dripping hot water faucet can waste over 200 gallons of water a month. That not only increases water bills, but also increases the gas or electric bill for heating the water.
Wash only full loads in a dishwasher and use the shortest cycle that will get your dishes clean. If the operating instructions allow, turn off the dishwasher before the drying cycle, open the door and let the dishes dry naturally.
Defrost refrigerators and freezers before the ice buildup becomes 1/4-inch thick.
Install shades, awnings or sunscreens on windows facing south and/or west to block summer light. In winter, open shades on sunny days to help warm rooms.
Close the damper when the fireplace is not being used. Try not to use the fireplace and central heating system at the same time.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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