Energy Saving Tips for Homes

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Lighting

Nowadays, there are multiple options when it comes to choosing light bulbs for your home or business. The type of lighting in your home or business impacts your energy use and in turn, your electric bill. 

  • Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs typically use up to 70-80% less energy than energy saving incandescent light bulbs 
  • LED bulbs last longer than other lighting alternatives. The table below shows the expected lifespan of various light bulb types: 
    Traditional Incandescent Energy Saving (Halogen) Incandescent Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) Light Emitting Diode Bulbs (LED)
    1,000
    hours
    3,000
    hours
    10,000
    hours
    25,000
    hours

RMLD is pleased to offer its residential customers LED light bulbs at up to 50% off the retail price. Click here to visit our online store to shop now!

Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling is the biggest energy consumer in most homes and businesses, accounting for close to half of the total energy use. Therefore, taking simple steps to heat and cool your home or business more efficiently can have a big impact. Here are some tips: 

  • Setting your thermostat back 7°-10°F for eight hours per day can save as much as 10% of your annual heating and cooling costs.   This means turning the temperature down in the winter and up in the summer when you are not at home.
  • Purchasing a programmable thermostat will help with automatically changing the settings when you leave for work or go to bed at night.  Many thermostats have an extended away mode to set your thermostat at while you are away on vacation.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense. 
  • Air seal by caulking around windows will help to prevent heat and/or air conditioning from escaping, helping heating and cooling systems to work more efficiently. 

Hot Water

There are an assortment of water heaters available, and how they’re fueled will depend on the type of product as wells as on the size and setup of your home/business. While your water heater may not be powered by electricity, it still consumes energy. The following steps will help to reduce heat loss, thereby consuming less energy: 

  • Lower water heating temperature to around 120°F (49°C)
  • Insulate hot water pipes
  • Insulate water heater tank 

Energy.gov has some great do-it-yourself videos on how to complete these savings projects at https://energy.gov/energysaver/water-heating

Smart Power Strips

Did you know that some of your home electronics may be utilizing electricity even when turned off? Advanced power strips help to ensure that electronics such as home entertainment systems do not consume power when not in use.

RMLD is pleased to offer its residential customers Smart Power Strips at up to 50% off the retail price. Click here to visit our online store to shop now!

Appliances

There are several ways to save money and energy on home appliance use. A great way to save is to upgrade to ENERGY STAR rated products, which use less energy than their traditional counterparts and are eligible for rebates from RMLD (residential customers only – click here for an application). If you’re not able to upgrade right now, there are still steps you can take to be sure you’re getting the most out of your appliances. 

Dishwasher 

  • Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer's recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (120° F).
  • Scrape, don't rinse, off large food pieces and bones. Soaking or pre-washing is generally only recommended in cases of burned- or dried-on food.
  • Be sure your dishwasher is full (not overloaded) when you run it.
  • Avoid using the "rinse hold" on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3-7 gallons of hot water each use.
  • Let your dishes air dry; if you don't have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open slightly so the dishes will dry faster.

Refrigerator 

  • Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 35°-38°F for the fresh food compartment and 0° F for separate freezers for long-term storage. 
  • Check the refrigerator temperature by placing an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator. Read it after 24 hours. Check the freezer temperature by placing a thermometer between frozen packages. Read it after 24 hours.
  • Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you may consider buying a new unit.
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Regularly defrost manual-defrost freezers and refrigerators; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don't allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.

Laundry  

  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
  • Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
  • Don't over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
  • Clean the lint screen in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation and prevent fire hazards.
  • Periodically, use the long nozzle tip on your vacuum cleaner to remove the lint that collects below the lint screen in the lint screen slot of your clothes dryer.
  • Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the heat remaining in the dryer.
  • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material -- not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.
  • Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks. Air drying is recommended by clothing manufacturers for some fabrics.
  • If you have a front-loading washer or high-efficiency top-loader, use detergent labeled for high-efficiency (HE) machines. 

No-Cost Home Energy Assessments for Residential Customers

RMLD offers no-cost home energy audits to residential customers who are interested in implementing energy efficiency and conservation measures. The assessment consists of an evaluation of the home to identify efficiency measures that will help to conserve energy and lower your electric bill. Information about the various residential rebate programs is also provided. To request a Home Energy Audit, contact RMLD at 781-942-6598 or click here.

 

Useful Links

For more information, check out these links: 

https://energy.gov/energysaver/energy-saver 
https://www.energystar.gov/ 

 

Information courtesy of energy.gov