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There are many little things that people can do to save dollars and help the environment. I thought I would start this of with just a few things most off which I have done and hope that others will contribute ideas also.

Turn your standard hot water heater down to 120 degrees. A simple but effective way to save, but you have to take the time to do it. This could save you $100 or more per year depending on how high you have yours set. If electric, there are 2 thermostats and since there is a shock hazard its usually best to let a professional do this.

Wrap hot water lines with insulation. It will prevent heat loss so you won't have to run the faucet as long to get hot water. Saves water as well as energy.

Wrap your water heater if applicable. Prevents heat loss. Follow directions carefully.

Install water saver shower heads and faucet aerators. You won't notice a difference when washing your hands.

Turn your heat down and A/C up.

Turn off lights when not in a room.

Use energy saving LED, halogen and florescent bulbs to cut wattage use.

Replace old water wasting toilets with newer energy saving models.

Turn your computer off or at least use the energy saving  features when not in use.

Unplug all unnecessary transformers and appliances. Most still use energy even tho they are off.
You can get electric strips also that will shut some of the outlets off that you don't use all the time like going to a printer etc. while still leaving the main computer components on.

When replacing older appliances replace with energy star models.

Use a humidifier in the winter months but watch your humidity levels to keep somewhere around 25 to 40% depending on how cold it is outside. The colder it is outside the lower the level. It will make you feel warmer so you can turn your heat down a little and feel just as comfortable.

RECYCLE. Start small if you haven't started, with newspapers and magazines.

Keep rooms closed off that you don't use often and shut registers down in them if applicable but remember that your heating system was designed to heat that area so don't close off too many.

Use ceiling fans in the summer blowing down to make you feel cooler and in cathedral ceiling rooms in winter have the fan blow up and on the lowest fan setting to help move the heat off  the ceiling  downwards on the outside walls to circulate it. There are energy star ceiling fans now available.

Caulk windows, doors, ect, to seal off drafts. Install insulation covers under the wall outlets and switch covers.

Just a few things that most people know about, and some things pertain to older homes, but it never hurts to refresh ideas so maybe someone else would add another green notch to their belt.

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Replies to This Discussion

I had read on many sites, including a lot of environmental sites,that they recommended turning water heaters down to 120 degrees, but I recently read that it is recommended to be set at least to 130 to 140 degrees to kill bacteria. Although setting it down to 130 degrees will kill the bacteria, water heaters are not evenly heated so that is why some recommend 140. The 140 is the water inside the heater, not coming out of the faucets. This doesn't affect tankless water heaters.

The Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating now requires tank-type storage water heaters to be set at a minimum of 140 degrees. The temperature coming from the faucet should be at least 122 degrees. Of course there is concern also for scalding, especially for young children to which a mixing valve can be added. I thought I would share this info so as to let you decide what is right for you or to let you do more research on it.


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