Energy Savings for Your Home

Are you concerned about the cost of your monthly power bill? An energy right Home Energy Survey may be just the tool to help you identify areas where you can lower energy usage and save money! Holston Electric Cooperative customers can follow the link www.energyright.com to complete the survey online or can request the paper version be mailed to you.

Here are some simple tips you can follow to help reduce the amount of energy you use this winter and help lower your electric bill:

  • Insulate using materials with a high efficiency rating number.

  • Install storm windows and doors or less-expensive vinyl window kits. Remove or cover window air-conditioning units for the winter.

  • Washing, cooking and bathing all add heat and humidity to the air on colder days. Open the blinds and shades to let the sun in.

  • Drafts can occur wherever two different building materials or parts of a building meet. Use weatherstripping or caulk to block cold air, especially around windows, doors and attic access doors. Insulate the back side of the attic door.

  • Showers use less hot water, on average, than baths.

  • Set the thermostat at the lowest setting at which you are comfortable. Each degree above 68 adds about 5 percent to your heating bill. Don’t set the thermostat higher at first, thinking it will heat your home faster. It won’t!
  • Make sure the thermostat is not affected by a cold draft.
  • Lower the thermostat if you’re going to be away for more than eight hours.
  • In rooms with high ceilings, reverse the circulation direction of ceiling fans in order to push down warmer air.
  • Keep the fireplace damper closed when it’s not used. Glass fireplace doors also greatly reduce heat loss.
  • Keep furnaces and heat pumps in good condition. Change filters regularly.

IN THE KITCHEN AND THE LAUNDRY ROOM

  • Microwave ovens use less than half the power of a conventional oven, as do electric skillets and toaster ovens.

  • Don’t preheat the oven unless it’s necessary. Many foods don’t require it. And no peeking! Each time you open the door, you lower the temperature by 25 to 50 degrees.
  • Use cold water in the garbage disposal. It’s better for the unit and uses less energy.
  • A dishwasher is more energy-efficient than washing by hand. Open the door and let the load air-dry to save electricity. Wash only full loads!

  • For the refrigerator and freezer, the most efficient settings are 40 degrees and 0 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. A full refrigerator or freezer uses less energy.
  • Refrigerator and freezer doors need to be airtight. Replace the gaskets if they are cracking or drying out.
  • It’s more energy-efficient to let food cool slightly before putting it in the refrigerator. Don’t put uncovered liquids in the refrigerator because it will work harder to remove the moisture.
  • Keep your dryer lint filter clean and have the exhaust duct cleaned annually. This saves energy and reduces fire hazard.

  • Wash clothes with cool water when possible and always rinse in cold water. If you can’t set your washing machine for the size of load, wait until you have a full load.

  • The soak cycle saves energy. Don’t over-wash; 10 minutes is usually enough for even the dirtiest of clothes.

NO-COST, LOW-COST IDEAS TO SAVE ENERGY

  • It does not save money to close registers in unused rooms with central heating and ductwork. Your system was designed to work its best when warm air flows unimpeded throughout the house. Also, make sure furniture, appliances or drapes do not block return registers.
  • Fluorescent bulbs far outlast incandescent bulbs and can be found to fit most standard fixtures. If you use them in places where you use bulbs that operate four or more hours a day, your investment in the more expensive fluorescent bulbs will more than pay for itself in a couple of years.  
  • Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are four times more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
  • Turn off incandescent bulbs when you leave a room; they produce heat and burn out faster. But leave on fluorescent bulbs if you’re going to be gone 15 minutes or less. It takes more energy to turn them on than it does to just let them run, and it wears out the bulb faster.
  • Keep your oven top, pots and pans spick-and-span. Shiny reflector pans under your stove burners help focus the heat more efficiently. Tight-fitting lids produce results faster by not letting heat escape, allowing you to use less heat and less water. You can turn the heat off earlier since it’s retained longer.
  • Computer equipment is the fastest-growing category of electricity use in the home. Consider turning off computer and home entertainment equipment if you’re not going to be using it for a while.
  • Set water heaters at 120-140 degrees. Insulate pipes when possible. In large homes, consider using smaller heaters in different areas.