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 Step 3 - Room by Room DIY Savings

 
Every room in your house offers multiple opportunities for reducing your energy use. Take an energy efficiency tour of your own home and add up the savings!

Download the Energy Saving Checklists to make a customized list of the tips most relevant for your home. Choose which improvements you will implement, estimate the possible savings and then mark them off as you complete the improvements. There are four checklists that vary based on the cost of the improvements.
  •  No Cost
  •  Low Cost (<$75)
  •  Moderate ($75 to $600)
  •  Investment (>$600)

Drapes 
Summer: Close the drapes or other window covers to block out solar heat.

Winter: Open drapes and use the sun's warmth to help heat your home. Close them at night.

Humidity in Your Home
In-home humidity above 50 percent can encourage mildew, mites, mold, and allergens. If you install a dehumidifier choose an ENERGY STAR-qualified model, which can save you more than $220 over the life of the unit. Other ways to reduce in-home humidity:

  • Fix leaky ductwork.
  • Leaks can draw heat and humidity, as well as dust and pollen into your house from the attic, garage, crawl space or the outside.
  • During air conditioning season always keep the fan switch in your thermostat in the AUTO position rather than the ON position.
  • The AUTO position dehumidifies about twice as well as the ON position. If you prefer the feeling of circulating air turn on a ceiling or portable oscillating fan.
  • Have your air conditioner serviced annually by a reputable contractor.
  • The coils should be inspected and cleaned if necessary.
  • On a hot afternoon, a well-functioning air conditioner will deliver air that's about 20 degreesF cooler than the house temperature. If the air delivered by the A/C is less than 15 degreesF cooler than the house, the problem may be either leaky ducts on the return side of the air handler or the air conditioner needs to be recharged with refrigerant.
  • If you buy a new air conditioning system make sure it is properly sized to the needs of your home. An oversized air conditioner wastes energy and removes only some of the humidity, leaving the room damp and clammy. For an A/C sizing chart and guidance go to the ENERGY STAR website.
  • Buy a quality digital temperature and relative humidity (RH) meter and place it in the family or living room.
  • During air conditioning season, an RH reading below 55 percent is desired; 45 percent is ideal.
  • If your house humidity is consistently above 60 percent in the summer you should contact a heating and cooling contractor.
  • Do not set the air conditioning thermostats lower than about 75 degrees F.
  • Do not operate exhaust fans located in the attic designed to cool the attic. These fans generally increase the amount of hot air entering and cooled air escaping the house and increase the humidity.
  • Keep interior doors open for better air flow.
  • Always operate the bathroom exhaust fan (if it exhausts to the outside) when taking a hot bath or shower.
  • Keep the fan running for at least 15 minutes after the shower to remove humidity.
  • Operate the kitchen exhaust fan when using the cook top.
  • Place pans on the rear burners to ensure fumes and steam are captured and exhausted to the outside by the fan.
  • In the summer months, the relative humidity in your house generally increases.
  • If it frequently exceeds 70 percent, consider investing in one or two room dehumidifiers.
 

 DYI

 
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 Energy Saving Checklists

 
  
  
No Cost Checklist.pdfNo Cost Checklist
Low Cost Checklist.pdfLow Cost Checklist
Moderate Cost Checklist.pdfModerate Cost Checklist
Investment Checklist.pdfInvestment Checklist
 

 Living Room/Dining Room

 

Programmable Thermostat 
An ENERGY STAR-qualified programmable thermostat allows you to automatically change cooling and heating temperatures according to a pre-set schedule, using less cooling or heating when you are asleep or away from the house.

Save approximately 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10-15 degrees for eight hours.

Set the Temperature for Savings
Summer: Keep the thermostat at 78 degrees or warmer with the thermostat fan switched to auto. Raise your thermostat to 82 degrees or warmer when you're away for more savings.

Winter: Keep the thermostat at 68 degrees or cooler with the thermostat fan switched to auto. Lower your thermostat to 65 degrees or cooler at night or when you're away from home.

Phones, Cell Phones, Smart Phone, iPods, MP3 Players, etc.
ENERGY STAR qualified cordless phones, answering machines, and combination units perform much more efficiently and use about half the energy of standard units by incorporating improved energy performance features such as switch-mode power supplies and "smart" chargers.

 A "smart" charger saves energy by sensing when the batteries have been fully charged and shutting off the flow of electricity. This avoids overcharging and wasting of energy.  

Fireplace Damper
Close the flue damper tightly when not in use.

 

 Den or Media Room

 

Televisions

  • LCD TVs use much less energy than plasma TVs. Always look for an ENERGY STAR-qualified television.

Home Theatre Components
Added together, electronics can account for up to 15 percent of your household electricity use.

  • Many electronics pull electricity even when they're turned off.
  • Plug your home theatre components into a "smart" power strip which will automatically turn the components off when the television is turned off or use a traditional power strip with an on/off switch and turn off the power strip when you are not using any of the components to ensure no power is being used.
  • Save even more by choosing ENERGY STAR qualified electronics when you are purchasing new equipment.

Battery Chargers
Unplug any battery chargers or power adapters when not in use. For additional information on battery charging options visit the Plug Load section of the website.

This program receives funding from the US Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. 

Sarasota County, Florida
941-861-5000
TTY: 7-1-1
or 1-800-955-8771
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