Energy cost can impact your family budget. Here are some tips to help you save money, minimize the impact to the environment and maximize efficiency.
Replace light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified fluorescent lamps (CFLs). CFLs cost about 75 percent less to operate and last about 10 times longer.
Switch to T8 fluorescent lamp tubes with solid-state electronic ballasts that are more efficient than older T12 tubes with magnetic ballasts.
Turn off lights and other electronics when not in use.
Install switch plate occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lighting if there’s not someone in the room.
Install ENERGY STAR qualified exit signs.
Heating & Air Conditioning
Change HVAC filters monthly during peak cooling or heating seasons. New filters usually only cost a few dollars. Dirty filters are more costly to use and overexert the equipment.
Tune-up your HVAC systems with an annual maintenance contract. A contract ensures that your HVAC contractor will provide tune-ups before each cooling and heating season.
Install an ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat to automate your HVAC system. This solid-state, electronic device optimizes HVAC operation "24/7" based on your schedule and can be "overridden" as needed for unscheduled events.
Plug leaks with weather stripping and caulking, which lets you manage your ventilation.
Food Service Equipment
Purchase ENERGY STAR qualified commercial food service equipment. They can save over 45 percent of the energy used by conventional models, which equals about $140 annually for refrigerators and $100 for freezers; deep fryers can save up to $180 per year; hot food holding cabinets can save up to $280 per year; and steam cookers can save up to $820 per year.
Service walk-in refrigeration systems once a year. That includes cleaning, refrigerant top off, lubrication of moving parts and adjustment of belts.
Buy ENERGY STAR qualified products, which are the most efficient computers, printers, copiers, refrigerators, televisions, windows, thermostats, ceiling fans and other appliances and equipment.
Turn off machines when they are not in use. Automatic switching to sleep mode or turning computer off is a great energy-saving strategy.
To maximize savings with a laptop, put the AC adapter on a power strip that can be turned off (or will turn off automatically).
Use a laptop; they use less energy than desktop computers.
Unplug battery chargers once the batteries are fully charged.