Library Fact Sheets
CAPT. KILOWATT'S ENERGY SAVINGS TIPS|
Printable Fact Sheet
Civil engineers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have resurrected Capt. Kilowatt and his trusty sidekick, Wrighty, to promote energy awareness and conservation. Energy program officials plan to incorporate the duo in an awareness campaign to highlight easy but effective methods for the base workforce to promote conservation of natural resources and reduce energy costs. (U.S. Air Force graphic)
Hot Water Alternative: Consider natural-gas on-demand or tankless water heaters. Researchers have found savings can be up to 30% compared with a standard natural-gas storage tank water heater.
HVAC Ducting: One of the most important systems in your home--hidden beneath your feet and over your head--may be wasting a lot of your energy dollars: It's your home's HVAC duct system. Although minor duct repairs are easy to do, ducts in unconditioned spaces should be sealed and insulated by qualified professionals using the appropriate sealing materials
Home lighting: Study your family's lighting needs and use patterns, paying special attention to high-use areas such as the living room, kitchen, and outside lighting. Look for ways to use lighting controls--like occupancy sensors, dimmers, or timers--to reduce lighting energy use, and replace standard (also called incandescent) light bulbs and fixtures with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL's) or LED lighting.
Energy Star: Energy Star products use about half the electricity of standard equipment. Turn off machines when not in use (where applicable) and make sure power management features are activated. This applies to home use as well as on base!
Washer & Dryer Shoppers: If you are in the market for a new washer, look for the ENERGY STAR and compare EnergyGuide labels. You can reduce drying costs as well--consider buying a natural gas dryer; the cost per load is less than an electric dryer.
In cold weather: Close your curtains and shades at night, and open them during the day to allow the sun to help heat your home. Installing storm windows can also reduce your heat loss, by up to 50%.
Check your heating and air conditioning ducts: Look for air leaks in your home. First, look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes. Improperly connected or poorly insulated ducts (especially through unheated spaces) can cost you a lot--both in money and comfort.
Check your tire pressure: Properly inflated and aligned tires will improve gas mileage by 3 percent. Pressure varies with temperature and ideally should be checked at least monthly before the first drive of the day.
Increase you lighting efficiency: It's is one of the fastest ways to decrease your electricity bills. Turn off the lights in any room you're not using, or consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on. Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs); they are much more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last 6 to 10 times longer--and if you shop around, you can find 60-watt equivalent CFL's for less than $2.00 for a pack of 8!
Winter home heating: Keep your energy bill and your pollution output low this winter by taking a whole-house approach to heating. Start with setting your thermostat as low as is comfortable. A programmable thermostat can help by adjusting the temperature according to your schedule-it can cut back heating at night, for instance, and turn it up again before you rise in the morning.
E-85 fuel: Wright-Patterson AFB opened the third and fourth E-85 (85% ethanol) filling stations in Ohio, and the first in Air Force Materiel Command. Government vehicles certified for E-85 now fill up using the alternative fuel, reducing our dependence on petroleum.
Seal it up: Check for holes or cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets that can leak air into or out of your home.
Fireplace dampers: Close your damper when the fireplace is not being used.
Is your gas tank half full or half empty? Using smart driving techniques by driving the speed limit, accelerating smoothly, and not being a lead foot can help keep your gas tank half full for a lot longer.
Consider compact fluorescent three-way lamps: They make it easier to keep lighting levels low when brighter light is not necessary and save more energy. To save even more energy buy dimmable compact fluorescent lamps!
Windows: In warm weather, install white window coverings to reflect heat away from the house, and close south- and west-facing curtains during the day.
Car tips: Lighten your load by clearing your car of extra weight, and remove roof racks or carriers if not used frequently. Keep current with car maintenance--clean air filters can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%.
Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees: Water heaters sometimes come from the factory with higher temperature settings than are necessary.
Outdoor home lighting: Use outdoor lights with a photocell unit or a motion sensor so they will turn on only at night or when someone is present. A combined photocell and motion sensor will increase your energy savings even more.
Clothes Dryer tips: Clean the lint filter after every load to improve air circulation, and don't over-dry clothes. Use the cool-down cycle to allow clothes to finish drying with residual heat. Also, periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it's not blocked. And don't forget nature's free dryer--the sun!
Night lights: Consider using 4-watt minifluorescent, electro-luminescent, or now LED night lights. These lights are much more efficient than their incandescent counterparts. The luminescent lights are cool to the touch.
Improve gas mileage: Whether you drive an economy car or an SUV, there are plenty of ways to improve your gas mileage. Avoid aggressive driving and observe the speed limit. Speeding, fast acceleration, and hard braking all waste gas. Keep your tires properly inflated and use energy saving oil of the correct viscosity for your vehicle.
Use task lighting: Instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. For example, use fluorescent under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and countertops under cabinets.
Hot water heaters: Insulate your hot-water storage tank and pipes, and drain a quart of water from your water tank every three months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. When buying a new water heater, compare EnergyGuide labels to find an energy-efficient model. Don't just look at the initial price, check out the life cycle cost for best value.
Turn off the lights... in any room you're not using, or consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on.
Long-Term Savings Tip: Buy a new energy-efficient water heater. While it may cost more initially than a standard water heater, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance.
Energy efficient lighting!
Making improvements to your lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. An average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time lights are on but not being used.
Halogen lamps generate excessive heat that can create fire hazards. Use compact fluorescent lights in your torchieres or better yet, buy a torchiere designed for compact fluorescent bulbs.
A good insulating system can help keep your home warm during winter and cool during summer. Check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors, and crawl spaces to see if it meets the levels recommended for your area. (Insulation is measured in R-values -- the higher the R-value, the better your walls and roof will resist the transfer of heat.)
Stay Cool This Summer While Saving Energy
If you use air-conditioning, set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Don't set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn it on. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
Many homeowners use outdoor lighting for decoration and security. When shopping for outdoor lights, you will find a variety of products, from low-voltage pathway lighting to motion-detector floodlights. Some stores also carry lights powered by small photovoltaic (PV) modules that convert sunlight directly into electricity.
If your home has single-pane windows, as almost half of U.S. homes do, consider replacing them. New double-pane windows with high-performance glass are available on the market. In colder climates, select windows that are gas filled with low-emissivity (low-e) coatings on the glass to reduce heat loss.
Keep Your Energy Bill Out of Hot Water
Water heating can be expensive, but there are a number of ways to lower your costs One way is to use less water. Repair leaky faucets immediately and use low-flow shower heads. (A family of four, each showering for five minutes a day, uses 700 gallons of water a week; you can cut that amount in half by using low-flow aerating showerheads.)
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs--A Bright Idea! Compact fluorescent bulbs are four times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and provide the same light levels. And when they're used up, recycle them!
Energy Tips provided courtesy of the 88th Air Base Wing Civil Engineer Directorate's Energy Management Office