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| Keep Your Energy Bill Out of Hot Water
Water heating can be expensive, but there are a number of ways to lower your
costs. One way is to use less water. Repair leaky faucets immediately and use
low-flow shower heads. (A family of four, each showering for five minutes a day,
uses 700 gallons of water a week; you can cut that amount in half by using low-flow
aerating shower heads.) Insulate your hot-water storage tank and pipes, and drain
a quart of water from your water tan every three months to remove sediment that
impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater (follow the
manufacturer's instructions). Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120
degrees; water heaters come from the factory with higher temperature settings than
are necessary. When buying a new water heater, compare energy guide labels to
find an energy efficient model. Check out Water Heating for more tips. (U.S.
Department of Energy)
| Lower Your Indoor Lighting Costs
Increasing your lighting efficiency is one of the fastest ways to decrease your electricity bills. Turn off the lights in any room you're not using,
or consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on. Use task lighting; instead of
brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. For example, use fluorescent under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and
counter tops under cabinets. Consider three-way lamps; they make it easier to keep lighting levels low when brighter light is not necessary.
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For example, use fluorescent under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and counter tops under cabinets. Consider three-way lamps; they make it
easier to keep lighting levels low when brighter light is not necessary. Finally, use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs); they are much more
efficient than incandescent bulbs and last 6 to 10 times longer. CFLs are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but they pay for themselves
by saving energy over their lifetime. (U.S. Department of Energy)
Weatherstripping supplies and techniques range from simple to the technical. Consult the instructions on the weatherstripping package.
Here are a few basic guidelines:
•Weatherstripping should be applied to clean, dry surfaces in temperatures above 20°F (-7° C).
•Measure the area to be weatherstripped twice before you cut anything.
•Apply weatherstripping snugly against both surfaces. The material should compress when the window or door is shut.
When weatherstripping doors:
•Choose the appropriate door sweeps and thresholds for the bottom of the doors.
•Weatherstrip the entire door jamb.
•Apply one continuous strip along each side.
•Make sure the weatherstripping meets tightly at the corners.
•Use a thickness that causes the weatherstripping to tightly press between the door and the door jamb when the door
closes, without making it difficult to shut.
For air sealing windows, apply weatherstripping between the sash and the frame. The weatherstripping shouldn't interfere with the
operation of the window.
(U.S. Department of Energy)