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- Do not use more lights in a room than needed. Turn lights (and other appliances) off when leaving the room.
- Lower the water temperature. A setting of 155 degrees should be sufficient for most uses.
- Use warm or cold water settings for most loads of laundry. Clothes will still get clean and you could reduce energy use by 50%.
- Take more showers than baths. A bath uses 15-25 gallons of hot water, but a 5-minute shower used less than 10 gallons of hot water.
- Consider having your older home insulated. If you do not qualify for weatherization services as a part of LIHEAP, this is something that can be done for a reasonable price and it is an excellent way to save energy.
- One of the quickest ways to save money is to caulk, seal, and weather-strip all the seams and cracks in your home. Reducing air leaks can save you 10% or more on energy costs.
- Change furnace filters once a month. Dirty filters restrict airflow and can reduce the life of your furnace.
- Likewise, have your furnace checked annually by a technician to prevent major (costly) problems and to screen for Carbon Monoxide leaks.
- Use the sunlight to light your rooms. Instead of turning on lamps, open shades and curtains and let the sunlight in. Close curtains and shades at night to avoid drafts.
- Put plastic over windows to stop air leaks, and always keep windows locked to seal tighter and reduce drafts.
- Make sure air vents and radiators are clean and unblocked by furniture.
- Shut unused rooms and draw drapes to reduce energy use.
- In the winter, do not turn on the heat until you have to. Keep the temperature as low as possible once turned on. Add extra blankets and wear more layers to keep warm. It is recommended that the thermostat be set at 68 degrees during the day and lower at night.
- If you own your home, consider landscaping as a means to reduce energy costs. Believe it or not, positioning a tree carefully around your home can save up to 25% of a typical household’s energy for heating and cooling. For example, deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves in the winter) on the south and west sides of your home will help keep your home cool in the summer by providing shade, and in the winter will allow the sun to warm your home.
Sources: Cedar Falls Utilities, the Iowa Energy Center, Energy Savers Tips on Saving Energy & Money in the Home, and the Iowa Energy Savings Guide.