Listed below are some simple things you can check to better control your electrical usage throughout the year.
- Install flow reducing shower heads
- Insulate your water heater, unless it’s a newer insulated model
- Insulate pipes in unheated spaces
- Vacuum the vents and coils for the refrigerator/freezer twice a year because dust makes them work longer to cool.
- Don’t block air circulation around the refrigerator
- Replace gaskets that don’t seal tightly on the refrigerator/freezer
- The higher the air temperatures are in a garage in the summer, the higher the operating costs of refrigerator/freezer will be.
- Use lower wattage lamps in fixtures where you don’t need as much light, such as hallways and bedrooms.
- Use florescent fixtures and lamps whenever possible. They use a quarter of an incandescent lamp, and provide the same amount of light, and last at least 7 times as long.
Dirt is a pretty big energy zapper. It clogs up appliances, causes everything to work harder and creates problems in lots of places, most especially:
Your Home Comfort System – Regularly cleaning or replacing air filters in your HVAC can save 5 to 15 percent in system energy use. You can do this on your own monthly for more comfortable, efficient operation. Then, just before the peak season, it’s time for a full professional cleaning and inspection of your heater or furnace.
During those dormant months, dust and dirt have had a chance to collect in your heating system. As dirt builds up, it obstructs performance – decreasing and delaying comfort. The longer it takes for the system to heat up, the more energy you use. And of course, that means more of your energy dollars down the drain.
So that’s one way you save: a clean system uses less energy than one that hasn’t been properly maintained. But there’s another plus too. A tuned system is less likely to break down on a cold winter night. Most breakdowns, in fact, can be traced back to a lack of maintenance.
Heating and cooling is already using up about half of your home energy use. Don’t let it use more by doubling down on energy and repair costs. Call us to get your furnace and/or heat pump tuned for winter. The inspection will also let you know if a dangerous carbon monoxide leak is creating serious health risks for your family.
If you are concerned about your electric bill this winter, here is a DIY checklist that will allow you to save and better control your electrical/gas usage.
- When the house is occupied, the recommend temperature setting during the winter is 68°F. If the house in unoccupied see our blog What Should I Set My Thermostat To When I’m On Vacation to see what you should set your thermostat to.
- Leave the registers open and do not block registers with furniture (air flow is important). Any time a register is blocked, even if you don’t want air going into that room, it creates a strain on the heating or cooling system.
- Check the furnace filter every 30-60 days. Fun tip: You can have us send email reminders to check your filter if you don’t think you’ll remember.
- Use the bathroom and kitchen vents only when moisture, heat, and odors become a problem.
- Close drapes at night and on cloudy days.
- If you have natural gas of propane appliances make sure your carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are in proper working condition.
- Insulate hot and cold water pipes in unheated areas.
We had a busy summer keeping people comfortable, and I’m glad. I’m fortunate in that I love what I do.
I recently heard about a study of social media comments related to how people feel about their jobs. The results showed that a large majority (at least those posting publicly!) say they love their job. Well, that’s my category, too, because of people like you.
We enjoy being of service to our customers – improving comfort and indoor air quality, showing how to save energy dollars and repairing inconvenient breakdowns.
One of our favorite ways to serve is to help you avoid future trouble. We do that through our annual tune-ups that help your system maintain reliable operation and peak efficiency. Call us to schedule a tune-up on your system at 402-362-5702 in the York, NE area.
We saw this in our Taste of Homes: 2001 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes cookbook. This is a creamy and satisfying dessert with a punch of lime.
- 1-1/2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 24 squares)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup better or margarine, melted
- 1 package (3 ounces) lime gelatin
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Combine the first three ingredients; set aside 2 tablespoons for topping. Press remaining crumbs onto the bottom of an un-greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish; set aside.
In a bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; cool. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar. Add vanilla; mix well. Slowly add gelatin until combined. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.
Yield: 12-15 servings