December 20, 2014

Spring cleaning: Efficiency Vermont shares tips for finding hidden energy wasters

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Spring is right around the corner. Soon, folks all over Vermont will set aside a day for an old-fashioned spring cleaning. According to Efficiency Vermont, your spring cleaning efforts could earn you some money – and not just the coins found under the couch cushions.
“I’m talking about finding the hidden places where you’re wasting your energy dollars,” says Bridget Ashe, Customer Support Manager at Efficiency Vermont. “They’re easy to find while you’re scouring your home for cob webs and dust bunnies. Many fixes are simple and the savings really add up. You just have to know where to look.”

To cut your energy costs by getting better performance from your appliances, exhaust fans, and lights, Efficiency Vermont suggests looking in the following pleaces.

• Fridge: Clean dust from under your refrigerator, the front vent at the base and any exposed coils at the back.
• Clothes Dryer: Clear lint from the exhaust hose.
• Kitchen & Bath Fans: Dust bathroom ceiling fan covers and fan blades. Clean dust and grease from the kitchen stove hood and exhaust fan.
• Electronics: While you’re dusting your TV, computer, gaming equipment and other home electronics, take a look at how they’re plugged in. You can stop overpaying to power these big energy users (many draw electricity even when off) by plugging them into an advanced power strip, which automatically cuts electricity to any idle equipment you choose. Ask for one at your hardware store.
• Bathroom Ceiling: Have mildew? That’s a sign of insufficient ventilation. If you have a bath fan, use it. If you need a fan, look for an ENERGY STAR® qualified model. These fans are quiet and use little electricity. Be sure to vent bath fans to the outdoors, or you’ll risk creating a mold problem elsewhere in the house or attic.
• Lights: While you’re cleaning dust from your lamps and recessed lights, see what kind of bulbs you have. Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or ENERGY STAR labeled LEDs and use about 75 percent less energy for lighting.
• Outside: Take a look at any accessible exterior vents, such as for the clothes dryer, heating system, water heater, kitchen fan exhaust or bath fan exhaust. Clear them of any dust, webs, leaves and lint.
• Look at the big picture for greatest savings: Planning energy saving improvements? Before the busy construction season starts, now is a great time to talk to a contractor trained to help you find and fix causes of high energy bills, drafts, ice dams and more. A Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor can do a whole-house assessment and make recommendations about money saving improvements within your budget. Rebates are available.

To learn more and to find a contractor near you, visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/homeperformance.

 

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