Energy Efficiency:

Quick question, what is the fastest most efficient way to save money this summer?

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Special advertising supplement to the Reno News & Review.

Answer: Energy Efficiency. According to the U.S. department of Energy there are four quick do-it-yourself projects that will cost you very little and save you money at the end of the month on your energy bill.

First, locate air leaks in your home.The DOE suggests “The potential energy savings from reducing drafts in a home may range from 5% to 30% per year, and the home is generally much more comfortable afterward. Check for indoor air leaks, such as gaps along the baseboard or edge of the flooring and at junctures of the walls and ceiling. Check to see if air can flow through these places: Electrical outlets, Switch plates, Window frames, Baseboards, Weather stripping around doors, Fireplace dampers, Attic hatches, Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.”

If you are having difficulty locating these leaks, the DOE says “If you are having difficulty locating leaks, you may want to conduct a basic building pressurization test:

First, close all exterior doors, windows, and fireplace flues.

Turn off all combustion appliances such as gas burning furnaces and water heaters.

Then turn on all exhaust fans (generally located in the kitchen and bathrooms) or use a large window fan to suck the air out of the rooms.

This test increases infiltration through cracks and leaks, making them easier to detect. You can use incense sticks or your damp hand to locate these leaks. If you use incense sticks, moving air will cause the smoke to waver, and if you use your damp hand, any drafts will feel cool to your hand.”

Next, another risk for loss of energy efficiency in the home could be heat loss through the ceiling and walls of your home due to poor, or lack of insulation.“If the attic hatch is located above a conditioned space, check to see if it is at least as heavily insulated as the attic, is weather stripped, and closes tightly….make sure there is a vapor barrier between the batting and base while you’re up there, and make sure that the attic vents are not blocked by insulation.

Finally, energy for lighting accounts for about 10% of your electric bill. Examine the wattage size of the light bulbs in your house. Lower the watts for example if you have many 100 watt bulbs where 60 or 70 would do the trick lower the wattage.You can also purchase compact florescent light bulbs.This is a quick and easy way to help make a difference on the environment, and on your month energy bill.

NV Energy has some fantastic ways you can invest to save energy, and save to save energy:

No Cost Tips

These simple steps don’t cost a thing, but can potentially save you 10-25% on your monthly energy bill.

Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Don’t forget your computer. Most new computers have “sleep” settings.

In the cold months, set the thermostat to 68 degrees when home, and then back to 58 degrees when sleeping or when you’re not home more than four hours.

In the winter, open window coverings on the sunny side of your home to take advantage of “free heat from the sun.” Close the coverings on cloudy days or right after the sun sets.

In warm months, set the thermostat to 78-80 degrees when home and 5 to 10 degrees warmer at night or when you’re not home.

In the cooling season, close blinds and drapes during the day to keep heat out.

Also, use your dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, and cook as late in the evening as possible.

Barbecue outdoors when practical, keeping in mind the heat and effect of sun on your body. Reducing the heat coming into your home from any source, such as cooking, will reduce the load on your air conditioning.

Use pool trippers to reduce the time your swimming pool pump runs—eight to twelve hours a day is plenty.

Set your water heater to 120 degrees.

Vacuum your refrigerator coils (underneath and in the back) and don’t obstruct the coils. They need air space to work.

Keep the seals (gaskets) on refrigerators and freezers clean.

Keep your freezer as full as possible. You can place containers or plastic bottles filled with water in the empty spaces.

Make sure food is cool and covered before it goes into the refrigerator.

Run full loads in your washer and dryer, and use “solar drying” (clotheslines).

Use energy saver option on your dishwasher, allowing dishes to air dry.

If your A/C unit is on the ground, keep the area around it clean and free of obstructions to maintain air flow.

Keep lights and lighting fixtures clean, especially if you’re reducing the number of lights you use. Dirt absorbs light. Let lights cool before cleaning them and never touch halogen bulbs with your bare hands. The oil from your skin can greatly damage the bulbs. Use a small piece of paper to hold the bulb.

If your dishwasher has a filter, keep it clean.

Clean the reflectors underneath the burners on stovetops.

Special advertising supplement to the Reno News & Review.