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Solar energy is clean, renewable, sustainable, and more than ever bankable. In addition to solar energy, there are many ways in which you can raise energy efficiency in your residence. Below are such ways in which you can exercise your power and attain energy efficiency. And remember–YOU can begin to eliminate the dependency on costly and toxic commercialized energy by switching to solar today!
• Switch your ceiling fan to turn in a counter-clockwise direction in the summer; in the winter, run it at low speed, but clockwise.
• Close your exterior doors and windows tightly when the AC is on. Save even more by turning off kitchen and bath exhaust fans after use.
• Keep interior doors and air vents open. This allows air to circulate freely throughout the home.
• Change or clean your AC’s air filters at least once a month to keep your system running at peak performance.
• Choose a high-efficiency AC with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 14 or greater.
• Make saving automatic: Set your thermostat fan switch to “auto” and save up to $25 a month. Leaving it in the “on” position keeps air running constantly.
• Block the sun from overheating your home. Using shades, blinds and drapes to keep the sun out during the day will also help protect furniture and carpeting from fading.
• Give your AC a tune-up. Running an inefficient AC system can result in high monthly bills.
• Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
• Repair leaky air ducts. Decorate for a cooler home by hanging light-colored curtains that allow light to enter a room while blocking some of the sun’s rays, and using light-colored paint to reflect heat.
• Plant trees and use outdoor awnings to provide shade on the sunny side of your home.
• Use ceiling fans to cool off for less. Ceiling fans can make you feel three to four degrees cooler. Be sure to turn them off when you leave – FANS COOL PEOPLE, NOT ROOMS.
• Raise the temperature on your thermostat to 78-80 degrees for cooling. You will save 7% or more of your cooling costs for each degree above 78.
• Install a programmable thermostat to adjust your temperature during the day. When properly installed and set, you could save up to $180 per year in energy costs.
• Add door sweeps to stop conditioned air from escaping through the gap under your doors.
• Combat energy lost from leaks through electrical switch covers and outlet covers by installing inexpensive gaskets underneath their covers.
• Plug electronics into a power strip; then turn the strip off when not in use to save energy.
• Avoid energy vampires. U.S. households spend roughly $100 per year to power home electronics like clock displays and remote controls left in “standby” mode.
• Look for ENERGY STAR®-qualified TVs – they’re up to 40 percent more energy-efficient than non-qualified models.
• Consider a laptop next time you’re looking to buy a computer – they use less energy than desktop computers.
• Set your computer to sleep or hibernate mode instead of using the screen saver so it uses less electricity during periods of inactivity. Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use.
• Pull the plug on that second fridge located in the hot garage or utility room.
• Set your refrigerator temperature between 35 and 38°F. Use the power-save switch if you have one.
• Repair refrigerator door seals if you feel cold air around the closed door or if moisture is collecting.
• Dust your fridge the next time you dust your house. Check the coils behind the refrigerator and use coil vacuums or dusters to clean it off and keep costs down.
• Keep your freezer full – it uses less energy than an empty one. For maximum savings, consider filling your freezer with gallon containers of water.
• Choose energy-efficient appliances. If just one in 10 homes used them, the change would be equal to planting 1.7 million new acres of trees.
• Replace your refrigerator. New energy-efficient models can use 75 percent less energy than your older model. Look for the yellow Energy Guide label so you can compare operating expenses.
• Save up to 85 percent on the water-heating portion of your bill by installing a solar water heater.
• Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads.
• Turn off your water heater if you plan on leaving home for a few days. Most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour.
• Shorten those showers. Showers use up to 30% of your household hot water costs.
• Insulate the first 6 FT of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater. It’ll keep your comfort high and your energy bills low.
• Get an insulation wrap to help your old water heater keep heat in more effectively.
• Reduce your water heater temperature setting from 140 degrees to 120 degrees; you’ll save about $26 per year on your energy bill, without sacrificing comfort.
• Look for the Energy Guide label when purchasing a new water heater; even if a more efficient heater is more expensive, you’ll save money over time.
• Stop that dripping hot water faucet. Leaky faucets not only increase water bills but also increase electricity use for heating the wasted water.
• Install a timer for your water heater that will turn it off when you are not at home.
• Choose the right water heater for your needs. While they may promise savings, tankless models are pricey to install and on-demand water heaters may actually increase your electric bill.
• Reduce your pool pump’s operating hours to the minimum necessary for pool cleanliness; you will save money and extend the life of your pump.
• Keep heated pools covered; 70 percent of pool heat loss is caused by evaporation.
• Use spa pumps and heaters only when necessary; they use more than 2X’s the energy for refrigerators or standard TVs.
• Install a solar pool heating system to replace your old pool heating system.
Need more information on going green and ready to take the next step? We are here for you at Bay Area Solar Solutions LLC, where your solar needs come first!