If you have a heating system for your garage, don’t turn it on all the time. Whether you use your garage often or not, you can always heat it up minutes before you need to get in there. You can save a lot of energy if you do this. Remember this tip, use your garage heating system only if necessary.
Whether it is your tv, stereo, lights, or any other devices that use electricity, make sure that you turn them off when not in use.
Whenever possible, use fans when you run your air conditioner. Fans help reduce energy costs by circulating the cool air from your air conditioner. This allows you to raise the temperature and still be comfortable. Oscillating fans work the best by creating greater circulation. Ceiling fans are great for air circulation. In hot weather, set the ceiling fan direction to blow air down. The air moving across your skin creates a cooling effect, allowing you to raise the temperature on your thermostat and still feel cool. In cold weather, set the fan to blow toward the ceiling. This pushes warm air away from the ceiling and evenly distributes heat throughout the room. If available, use a whole-house fan. These fans are mounted in the attic and ventilate your entire home. Be sure to open some windows before turning on a whole-house fan. A qualified heating contractor can help you determine if you need a whole house fan. Keep your fan in good working order. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for care and maintenance. This also helps you to control the operating costs.
Use Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs. Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs last longer and use up to 75 percent less energy than standard light bulbs. You can cut your electric bill by $60 per year if you replace the standard bulbs in your five most frequently used light fixtures. Properly dispose of compact fluorescent light bulbs at your local household hazardous waste collection site. Use natural lighting when possible. Open curtains and shades during the day instead of using lighting, except when to do so could be a burden on your air conditioner. Consider skylights and solar tubes during remodeling or new construction design. This allows the maximum use of natural daylight. Plan your lighting well. Not every room needs the same amount of general light. Plan within a room to provide general background lighting and supplementary task lighting. A good lighting plan can reduce lighting costs and still provide all the light you need. Use a single, high-watt bulb. Using one high-watt bulb instead of several low-watt bulbs saves energy. Do not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended wattage for the fixture.
To assure only dusk-to-dawn operation of your outdoor lights, control your fixtures with a photocell or a timer. Turn off lights. Turn off lights when not in use, even for short periods of time. Turning lights off and on uses less energy than if they are left on all the time. Install a timer on indoor lights. Use timers to turn lights on and off to help regulate use. Avoid long-life incandescent light bulbs as they are the least efficient of the incandescent bulbs. Consider LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting as LEDs are becoming more common for can, track, under-cabinet and holiday lighting. The initial cost is more, but the lights use 10 times less energy and last 50 times longer than incandescent lights. They use one-third the energy and last even 5 times longer than compact fluorescent lights. Position your lighting properly. Try to illuminate the entire activity area without creating distracting glares or shadows. To do this, position your light source closer to the area you want lit. This saves energy by not over-lighting an unused area. Adjust light level. Higher light settings use more energy, so save energy by using dimmer controls, high/low switches or three-way bulbs to adjust the level of light to exactly what you need.
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