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Conservation Advice

Lower Energy Bills

W.C. Esp wants to help you conserve! Follow these energy-saving tips and you'll see your energy consumption decrease.

Cold Weather Conservation Tips

  • Upgrade your heating system. Homeowners who have older heating oil systems can lower their fuel costs by 30 percent or more by installing a new, high-efficiency system. New designs incorporate technologies like condensing and multi-stage operation to squeeze every ounce of heat from the system. The savings provide a remarkable return on investment that keeps paying off year after year - every time the weather turns cold.
  • caulking
  • Get a heating system tune-up before the heating season begins and reduce heating oil consumption by 5 percent.
  • Add caulking and weather-stripping around doors, attic access, windows, outdoor faucets and any areas where there might be leaks. (As much as 40 percent of your heating and cooling costs can be due to air leaks.) Check caulking at least once a year and replace material that has dried out and shrunk.
  • If you have a furnace, clean or replace the air filter once a month to assure the best airflow and efficiency.
  • Keep ductwork in good repair by sealing leaks with mastic, metal-backed tape. Your home could be losing up to 25 percent of its heated or cooled air before it reaches the vents!
  • Insulate your hot water tank. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you insulate the tank or water heater and the first six feet of hot water pipe.
  • Wrap your pipes to guard against heat loss and freezing.
  • Have your fireplace chimney cleaned and inspected regularly.
  • Replace any cracked glass in your windows.
  • Woman Opening Curtains
  • Install rubber gaskets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls. (Gaskets can be found in most home improvement stores.)
  • Sunshine! Open shades and drapes during the daytime and close them when the sun goes down.
  • Check the threshold for any gaps between it and the door; use a bottom seal that can be attached to the door to stop drafts.
  • Remove air conditioning units from windows.
  • Seal off your attic-circulating fan with polyethylene and tape.
  • Close your kitchen vent, fireplace damper and closet doors when not in use.
  • Avoid using space heaters. They're expensive to operate and can be dangerous.

Warm Weather Conservation Tips

  • Keep the coils of your central or window air conditioner free of dust and dirt.
  • Make sure the output of your air conditioner is right for the size of your room or house to ensure optimum efficiency and comfort.
  • EnergyStar®
  • Change or clean your air conditioning filter monthly during the cooling season to improve efficiency and extend the life of your air conditioner.
  • Look for an air conditioning unit that is ENERGY STAR® approved.
  • Install an attic fan - it can cool your attic by nearly 30 degrees!
  • Clear furniture away from air conditioning vents.
  • Cook on the outdoor grill, to keep cooking heat outside the home.
  • Install reflective window coatings to reflect heat away from your home.
  • During the day, block the heat from the sun by closing windows, doors and curtains.
  • Plant shade trees due west of west windows. It could reduce your air conditioning bills by up to 25 percent!
  • During the hot summer afternoons, avoid using appliances.
  • Open windows on cool summer days and nights. A good rule of thumb is to open windows when the outside temperature is cooler than the inside of your house.
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Year-Round Conservation Tips

    programmable thermostat
  • Install a digital programmable thermostat. It puts your heating and cooling systems on an automatic schedule: full heat or cooling during hours when the home is active, and less when the house is empty or the family is asleep. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says that setting back a home's temperature by 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day can reduce total heating and cooling costs by 5 to 15 percent.
  • Insulate thoroughly to reduce heat transfer through your walls, ceilings and floors. You could cut your heating and cooling costs by as much as 15 percent, according to Consumer Energy Council of America.
  • Replace outdated appliances with high-efficiency units to reduce energy consumption.
  • Use compact fluorescent lights. They last up to 10-13 times longer than standard bulbs and use 75 percent less energy.
  • Choose a high-efficiency water heater. A direct oil-fired water heater produces an almost endless supply of hot water with a very fast recovery time.
  • Reduce water heater temperature setting to 120 degrees to save fuel. (You'll also reduce the risk of scalding.)
  • Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water; it's faster and uses less energy.
  • Keep your oven door closed! Every time you open the oven door, the oven temperature can drop 25 degrees. Use the oven light or a timer to avoid wasting energy.
  • Use less water and use cooler water when doing laundry. The warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load's energy use in half.
  • water-conserving shower head
  • Install dimmer switches. In addition to enhancing the mood, they'll extend the life of your bulbs and help you save up to 60 percent on your lighting costs.
  • Install motion activated switches that automatically turn lights on and off.
  • Install water-conserving fixtures, such as showerheads, faucets and toilets.
  • Fix leaky faucets, especially hot water faucets. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons per month - more than a person uses in two weeks.
  • Take showers instead of baths. A five-minute shower will use about 7.5 gallons of hot water; filling a bathtub can use up to 20 gallons.
  • Use efficient temperature settings for your refrigerator and freezer. Recommended temperatures are 37 to 40 degrees for the refrigerator and 5 degrees for the freezer.
  • Clean refrigerator coils once a year to extend the life of your fridge.
  • Choose a high-efficiency dishwasher - they use 25 percent less energy than conventional models.
  • Since your clothes dryer retains heat, dry loads back-to-back.
  • Consider air-drying clothes on clotheslines or drying racks. Clothing manufacturers recommend air-drying for some fabrics.
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