12 Things That Save You Money, Water, And Electricity

1.   Sign up for a weatherization program through your utility company if one is available.  Often there are weatherization programs available that are subsidized by private, state and federal agencies so you can make your home more energy efficient at an affordable price.  Permanently set manufactured homes and site built homes are often eligible for such programs.  Renters may also apply with landlord consent.  You may have to use licensed contractors to do the work, but you can add insulation, upgrade windows and doors, and sometimes replace your furnace and heating system at a sizable discount.  Such weatherization costs are often further discounted on your state income tax return.

2.   Install shrink-wrap plastic films on all your windows to improve the thermal resistance of all your glazed areas.  Windows are often the largest source of heat loss in your home, so make sure all the seals are working properly and the windows close tightly to the jambs.  Install new weather striping around all exterior doors

3.   Caulk around all openings in the exterior walls such as around hose bibs, and wire penetrations, and around all doors and windows, and seal off all pet doors.

4.   Turn off your wall mounted and baseboard heaters in any rooms that are not occupied.

5.   Set your thermostat to 68ºF.  When you are away or sleeping, set it to 65ºF.

6.   If you have a furnace fan, set it to automatic.

7.   Change all your electric bulbs to the compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

8.   Turn lights, fans, lamps, computers, monitors, printers, stereos, DVD players, video games,   radios, and any appliances off when you aren’t using them.

9.   Use a low flow, 1.6 gallon per minute (gpm) showerhead.

10.   Fix all hot water drips and leaks.  Install a circulating system on your hot water supply lines.

11.   Use a clothes line to dry at least half your clothes, starting with your delicate items and jeans.  If you can, install a closet pole above your laundry tray to hang these clothes during the winter months.

12.  Don’t wash all your clothes in hot water with a warm rinse.  Wash in warm water with cold rinse for whites, brights, and light colored clothes.  Use a cold water wash with cold rinse for dark colored clothes, woolens, hand knits, and delicates.  When possible use cold water wash and rinse as much as possible with appropriate laundry detergents made for this purpose.  Adjust the wash cycle length and water level to suit the load as much as possible.

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