Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Keeping Your Cool

As most of America is experiencing record heat and power drains here are some energy saving tips from TVA:

Top 10 No Cost Steps You Can Do This Summer
1. Turn up your cooling system’s thermostat to 75­­–78°F. Don’t pay to keep your furniture cool — raise it even more when no one is home.
2. Perform a do-it-yourself energy audit. You can request a print version or perform your audit on-line.
3. Lower your water heater temperature to 120°F and reduce hot water use by taking shorter showers and using cold water for laundry whenever possible.
4. Turn off lights, televisions and other appliances when not in use. Use the “sleep mode” on computers.
5. Remove and recycle your second refrigerator.
6. Keep curtains closed on the south, east and west sides of the house during the day to help keep cool.
7. Clean refrigerator coils and set the temperature to 36° to 39°F and the freezer to 0° to 5°F.
8. Use the microwave; it cooks faster and doesn’t create as much heat as a stove burner.
9. Air-dry dishes instead of using the dishwasher’s heat drying option.
10. Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when full.
Read more about saving energy including more energy saving tips

Top 10 Low Cost Steps You Can Do This Summer
1. Caulk and weatherstrip around windows and doors to stop air leaks. Seal any gaps in floors and walls around pipes and electrical wiring.
2. Change filters monthly — dirty filters make your air conditioning unit work harder.
3. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents; they use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer.
4. Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads & repair leaky faucets.
5. Tune up your heating and cooling system. Seasonal tune-ups will keep your system running as efficiently as possible. Have your ducts inspected. Repair air leaks and seal and insulate cooling system ductwork.
6. Insulate! Add insulation to your attic, crawl space and any accessible exterior walls. Add pipe insulation to first 5 feet of water pipe coming from your water heater. Install light switch and electrical outlet seals on exterior walls. Wrap your water heater with insulation or install an insulating blanket.
7. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when replacing large or small appliances.
8. Use power strips for home electronics, and turn off power strips when equipment is not in use. TVs and DVD players, etc. still use power when the switch is off.
9. Replace worn-out seals on your refrigerator and freezer.
10. Plant a tree! Shade trees placed on the south or southwest side of your home will keep it cooler.

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