January 1 has come and gone but it’s not too late to start a New Year resolution to conserve energy. And while you’re at it, why not add a second resolution…save money! If you’re serious about these resolutions, commit to one or more of the energy-saving tips below in 2011:
• Kill phantom energy loads by unplugging appliances when you’re not using them.
• Keep your hot water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and install a hot water heater insulating blanket. These two tips can save up to 15 percent in energy costs.
• Confirm that your programmable thermostat is set to the optimal settings. Turning back the thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees when you’re not at home can save you around 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills.
• Check for air leaks in and around your home then apply caulking and weather stripping where needed.
• Purchase energy-efficient products, operate them efficiently, and incorporate more daylight into your home using energy-efficient windows and skylights.
• Analyze your energy bills. One of the best ways to truly understand how your home consumes energy is carefully reviewing your monthly utility bills.
• Only use rechargeable batteries. Aim to make your batteries rechargeable, a far cheaper option than constantly replacing them.
What energy saving habits do you plan to start this year?