Watt, Why & How e-Newsletter

Saving Energy One Room at a Time

When it comes to reducing energy costs, homeowners tend to focus on the big picture, such as the heating and cooling system or lighting. In reality, each part of your home uses energy differently, and offers unique opportunities for energy savings. Use the following energy-saving tips as you go from room to room looking for ways to save energy. You may find that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. 

 

kitchen
Kitchen 

 

  • For oven cooking, use the lowest temperature setting possible and preheat the oven to the exact temperature required.
  • When cooking on range tops, cover pots and pans; foods will cook more efficiently and the kitchen will stay cooler in the summer. 
  • Microwave ovens use 50% less energy than conventional ovens. Heat food in the microwave instead of on the range top or in the oven.
  • Do not run the dishwasher until you have a full load; use the air-dry feature whenever possible. 

Laundry Room

  • Wash full loads whenever possible. If you must wash a small load, use the appropriate water level setting.
  • Use the cold or warm water settings when possible. By switching from hot to warm, you can cut energy use in half. 
  • Consider air drying clothes. This will save energy and help to increase the life of your clothing. 

Bedroom

  • Operate ceiling fans at night to reduce the need for air conditioning and heating. In summer, direct the fan to push air down. In winter, reverse fan direction to pull air up, forcing warm air down.
  • Install insulating window treatments and close them at dusk during winter to keep warm air in at night. 
  • If you use a window air conditioner in your bedroom, make sure it fits tightly in the window to prevent cool air from escaping. In winter, remove the air conditioner from the window.

 

Family room
Family Room 

 

  • Family rooms are full of electronic devices—such as gaming consoles and DVD players—that continue to use energy in standby mode even when they are turned off. Cluster these devices on a power strip to conveniently cut off power at one time.
  • Initiate sleep mode features on home computers and switch to laptops if possible; they use substantially less energy than desktop computers.
  • If you have a fireplace, keep dampers closed when it is not in use to keep conditioned air from escaping through your chimney.  

Bathroom

  • Install low-flow shower heads and aerated faucets to conserve water and save energy on water heating.
  • Fix leaky faucets in bathroom sink, tub, or shower. Not only can you save 10 to 20 gallons of water per day, but you can keep energy dollars for water heating from going down the drain.
  • Limit showers to 10 minutes or less; this is a highly effective, no-cost way to save energy and water. 

Basement

  • Use caulk to seal cracks in the rim joist where basement walls meet the ceiling.
  • Seal gaps where plumbing and wiring pass through basement walls or ceilings leading to the outside or into the floor above. 
  • If you have a crawl space, make sure that it is properly sealed and insulated. See Crawl Space Insulation from the U.S. Department of Energy for more information.  

Attic

  • Make sure that your attic access is tightly sealed and well insulated.
  • Seal all attic air leaks, especially chases, dropped ceilings, wiring and plumbing penetrations, light fixtures, and bathroom fans. 
  • Install rafter and soffit vents to maintain a steady airflow, removing heat from the attic and keeping your home cooler in the summer. In winter, proper ventilation and insulation helps keep the attic cold, reducing the potential for melting and refreezing that can cause harmful ice dams on the roof and gutters.

To save energy throughout your home, remember to turn things off when they are not in use. Weatherize doors and windows, and make sure your home is insulated according to recommended R-values from the U.S. Department of Energy. When replacing appliances or equipment, purchase models that are ENERGY STARrated for energy-efficient performance.

How Does Your Home Energy Use Measure Up?

The HomeSMART Energy Assessment through Appalachian Power can help you identify areas in your home that may be wasting valuable energy by providing a free in-home energy audit. Click to learn more. 

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