Conserving energy can save money
This winter, taking energy-saving steps to protecting the environment can also save you money.
According to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), protecting the environment is everyone’s responsibility and we should all chip in to do our part. LDEQ recommends the following cost-saving tips this winter to help you save you money by conserving energy:
• Turn your thermostats down to 68 degrees or below. Reduce the setting to 55 degrees before going to sleep or when leaving for the day. For each one degree you turn down the thermostat in the winter, you’ll save up to five percent on your heating costs.
• Turn off and un-plug non-essential lights and appliances. The electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars.
• Avoid running large appliances such as washers, dryers, and electric ovens during peak energy demand hours from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• Close shades and blinds at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows. This also applies during the day for warm climates.
• Buy Energy Star appliances, products and lights.
• A well-maintained heating system will hold down fuel costs and provide reliable comfort. Check the filters in your warm air heating system monthly and replace or clean them when they become dirty. Have your heating system checked periodically by a licensed professional.
• Proper insulation in walls, ceilings and floors also significantly reduces the loss of heat to the outdoors. Insulation will pay for itself in fuel cost savings and home comfort.
• Storm windows and doors are big energy and money savers. They can reduce heating costs by as much as 15 percent by preventing warm air from escaping to the outside. Double glazed and thermopane windows, or even clear plastic across windows can minimize heat escape.
• Any small openings in a home can add up to big heat losses. Caulking and weatherstripping cracks in walls and floors, windows and doors will save fuel and money. Keeping the fireplace damper closed tightly when not in use will also result in heating cost savings.
• Letting sunlight in by opening curtains, blinds and shades over windows facing the sun helps keep your home warm and reduces heating needs. At night or when the sky is overcast, keeping drapes and curtains closed will help keep the warmth indoors.
• Dry air makes you feel colder than moist air at the same temperature. Maintaining home humidity will produce personal comfort at a lower thermostat setting and save money. Shallow pans of water near radiator tops or near warm air vents, or a room humidifier, will help raise humidity levels.
• Insulate heating hot air ducts and hot water pipes that provide heat to the rooms in your home. This will reduce heat loss in areas that are not insulated and will help your heating system work more efficiently.
By working together to conserve energy, we can make a difference. For more winter energy conservation tips, visit LDEQ’s website at www.deq.louisiana.gov and search for “living green.”
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