Rep. Jeanette Mott-Oxford, in a newsletter, reminds us of the Native American proverb: The Earth does not belong to us. We borrow it from our children. With that and global warming in mind, she offered these tips about not wasting energy in the winter:
Here are some tips that I gathered from the Earth 911 website:
– In the winter, turn your thermostats down to 68 degrees or lower. Reduce the setting to 55 degrees before going to sleep or when leaving for the
day. (For each one degree you turn down the thermostat in the winter, you’ll save up to five % on your heating costs.)
– Turn off and un-plug non-essential lights and appliances. The electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average automobiles!
– Buy ENERGY STAR appliances, products and lights. ENERGY STAR® is a program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designed to help consumers identify
energy-efficient appliances and products.
– Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as recommended for the model you are using.
– Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure furniture, carpeting, or drapes do not block them.
– Bleed trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if in doubt about how to perform this task, call a professional.
– Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.
– Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans wisely; in just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed (or cooled) air. Turn fans
off as soon as they have done the job.
– During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight to enter your
home and closed at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
– Finally, in winter close an unoccupied room that is isolated from the rest of the house, and turn down the thermostat or turn off the heating
for that room or zone. However, do not turn the heating off if it adversely affects the rest of your system. For example, if you heat your house with a heat pump, do not close the vents – closing the vents could harm the heat pump.