It's starting to get colder and you might be thinking of turning your heat on in the house. When the time comes to change the thermostat to "HEAT", keep these ideas in mind to save energy and save money.
1. Close all of your window shades at night.
2. During the day, open shades of windows that get direct sunlight.
3. Only run the washer and dryer with a full load. Use cold water for laundry. Consider getting a rack or line to hang your clothes inside to dry.
4. Clean the lint catcher in the dryer every time the dryer is used.
5. Turn single lever faucets all the way to cold when drawing cold water. (If the lever is not fully to the cold side, cold water is introduced into the water heater every time the faucet is turned on and throughout the day energy is spent heating up lots of cold water that is never used.)
6. Unplug appliances (TV’s, DVD players, computers, kitchen appliances, etc.) that are not being used or control them with a power strip that can easily be switched on and off.
7. Plan meals that can be quickly cooked on the top of the stove. Avoid using the oven and avoid dishes that require a long time to bake or cook.
8. Close the registers or turn down thermostats in unused rooms.
9. Put a rolled up towel on the floor in front of doors to the outside or in front of doors to unused rooms to stop drafts.
10. Turn the water off during your shower. Wet down and turn the shower off. Lather up and then turn the shower on again to rinse off.
11. Only run the dishwasher when it has a full load. Use the air dry cycle on the dishwasher.
12. Run the range hood and bathroom fan only when needed. Most of these fans draw outside (cold) air into the room.
13. Make sure storm doors close tightly.
14. Lock all windows to make a tighter seal to keep cold air out.
15. Turn off lights when leaving the room.
16. Replace burned out bulbs with LED light bulbs. They cost more than regular bulbs initially, but last much longer and use much less electricity. In the meantime, before the incandescent bulbs burn out, dust the bulbs and the lenses of the fixtures to get more light out of the existing fixtures.