Imperial, California (NAPSI) - Your energy bills will be less likely to get you hot under the collar if you heed a few hints from the experts at the U.S. Department of Energy.
1. Install and set a programmable thermostat to save up to 10 percent on heating and cooling costs.
2. Use sunlight to your advantage. During the cold months, open your curtains during the day to let the sun shine in. During warmer months, use light-colored window shades or blinds to reflect heat back out. Using natural lighting can also reduce your need for artificial light.
3. Set your water heater to no higher than 120 degrees. Install low-flow showerheads or temperature-sensitive shower valves.
4. Choose energy-saving lighting. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs yield as much as 75 percent energy savings and last six times longer.
5. Get an electronic power strip. Many chargers and other devices consume energy even when not in use. Plug them into the power strip and turn it off.
6. Arrange for annual heating and cooling system maintenance by a qualified technician.
7. Clean the air filters in your heating and cooling system monthly and replace them as needed. Also, clean the vents, vacuum under the refrigerator and keep food from blocking the airflow.
8. Use Energy Star−certified appliances and electronics. They use much less energy and water than standard models.
For example, a new Amana dishwasher uses 35 percent less energy and 62 percent less water than older, conventional dishwashers. It has a heated dry function that whisks away moisture, drying dishes thoroughly and saving you time. Its Triple Filter wash system means there’s no need to pre-rinse your dishes: The three filters remove food particles so you conserve energy and water and still get dishes clean.
Then there’s the Amana Side-by-Side Refrigerator. With its large capacity, it uses 30 percent less energy than older models. It also dispenses filtered water and ice so you can save money not buying bottled water.
9. Plant trees that lose their leaves no closer than twice their height south of your house so they’ll provide shade in summer but not block sunlight in winter.
Other good places for trees are in Tanzania, Brazil and Indonesia, where they help reduce environmental destruction. That’s why, for every major appliance sold in the U.S., Amana will donate the cost of planting a tree.