Easy Earth Day Energy-Saving Tips

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Provided by NOVEC

The Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative offers easy ways to save energy on Earth Day on April 22, and every warm day this spring and summer.

  1. Turn the thermostat up to 75-78 degrees. Each degree higher reduces electricity use and summer cooling bills. Run fans to help room occupants feel cooler.   
  2. Use fans in lieu of air conditioning. If not running an air conditioner, run a whole-house or window fan upstairs with windows open on the main floor. Make sure a window fan pushes air outside instead of pulling hot air inside.
  3. Buy an energy-efficient air conditioner. Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying a window air conditioner and a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) when purchasing a central air-conditioner.The higher the SEER, the less energy the unit will use.
  4. Replace air-conditioner filters regularly. Follow manufacturers’ instructions. Write the installation date on the filter.
  5. Block solar heat by closing window treatments during the day on sunny sides of the house.Layering treatments, such as drapes closed over blinds, blocks even more heat. Window awnings do the best job since they repel solar rays before they reach windows. 
  6. Close storms and lock windows for a tight seal. If need be, apply caulk and/or weatherstripping around windows and doors to keep hot air from infiltrating inside.
  7. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. Old-fashion incandescent light bulbs produce only 10 percent light, but a whopping 90 percent heat. LED bulbs produce almost no heat, use 80 percent less energy than incandescents, and last much longer.
  8. Cook with a microwave oven instead of a regular oven; grill outdoors. Don’t create a hot kitchen.
  9. Close a fireplace damper and glass doors. Hot air rises, but some hot outdoor air can come down and some cooled indoor air can go up through an open chimney.
  10. Lower the water-heater temperature. Set an electric water heater at 120 degrees; set a gas heater between “warm” and “hot.”

Learn more energy-saving ideas at novec.com/save.

“In addition to helping members use energy wisely, NOVEC itself works to protect the environment through recycling scrap metal, wood cable reels, and more,” said Lisa Hooker, NOVEC vice president of public relations.

“We operate our own ‘green’ biomass power plant that uses waste wood. We purchase all of the electricity generated from decomposing trash at the Prince William County Landfill. We also buy the solar energy generated at Fauquier County’s Livestock Exchange, and, in the next few years, NOVEC will be adding a lot more solar energy to its power supply mix,” she said.

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