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No-cost Home Energy-saving Tips

Use thermostat setbacks.
Turning down the thermostat when your home is not occupied or at night can save about 1 percent for each degree the thermostat is lowered for an eight-hour period. For example, lowering the thermostat from 72 to 65 at night is expected to save you $70 if heating your home costs $1,000 per year.

Turn off appliances when they're not being used.
Appliances still draw energy even when they are off or in standby mode if they have a clock or light to tell you they are powered up. Appliances actually have two costs: purchase cost and the cost to operate the appliance for its lifetime. When purchasing new appliances, you need to consider both costs. Energy-efficient models cost less to operate when on and in standby mode. This saves you money in the long term.

Turn off lights when you leave the room.
Five 100-watt incandescent light bulbs left on for five hours a day cost $91.25 to run for a year at 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. Lights also have an additional cost in the summer. They produce heat. If left on, they cause your air conditioner to operate more to cool the house.

Let the sun heat your house
for free.
In winter, open drapes or shades in the morning on south-facing windows and then close them at night. In the summer, make sure the drapes or shades are closed during the day to reduce cooling costs.

Shut off air conditioning at night.
Open the windows to allow the cool night air into your house. Close the windows and window treatments in the morning to maintain the cooler temperatures.

Wash only a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.
Do not use the dry cycle. Allow dishes to air dry or towel dry them instead.

Use cold water with cold-water detergents to wash clothes.
Wash only full loads.

Hang clothes to dry.
Be careful if hanging clothes indoors to avoid excess moisture and mold issues.

Heat only the rooms or zones in your house that are being used.
Close off heat in rooms that are not occupied. Energy experts do not recommend thermostat setbacks and zone heating for homes using heat pumps.

Set the temperature on your electric water heater to 120 F (49 C).
If you leave the house for long periods of time, turn the water heater off. You don't need to have hot water in the house when you are on vacation.

Keep the cooling coils on the refrigerator clean.
Make sure air can flow around the refrigerator and freezer freely. Keep the refrigerator and freezer fully stocked; they use less energy when full.

Use smaller appliances when possible.
Use a toaster oven or microwave whenever possible.

Keep lids on pans when cooking.
Think about this old adage: "A watched pot never boils." Water will boil faster and food will cook faster when covered because heat is not lost to
surrounding air, saving you money.

Close the flue damper on fireplaces.
Leaving the damper on a fireplace open is like leaving a window open.

NDSU, Dept. 7620

P.O. Box 6050

Fargo, ND  58108-6050

Phone: 701.231.7261

Fax: 701.231.1008

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