The federal government spends millions of dollars on research that – on occasion – yields some money-saving advice for us taxpayers who have paid for that research. Here are some facts and helpful cost-cutting tips for local homeowners and consumers, culled from the deep reaches of such agencies as the U.S. Geological Survey, EPA/Energy Star program and others:
Hot Water Wonders
- Hot water leaking at a rate of just one drip per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons a year, and waste up to $35 in electricity or natural gas used to heat it. Bringing in a local plumber to repair these and other water-related problems will save you money.
- A 10-minute shower uses less water than a full bath. Taken daily, that 10-minute shower saves $100 per year over the $310 annual cost of a 15-minute shower daily.
- Turning down the temperature on your water heater temperature will save you money. Set too high, or at 140 degrees, your water heater can waste from $36 to $61 annually just heating the idle water tank and more than $400 in usage. Set at 120 degrees and you will save money. Tankless water heaters will also reduce operating costs.
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- Always use your microwave to reheat or cook small portions. You can reduce cooking energy by as much as 80 percent when using your microwave for small portions. This also saves on air conditioning costs because less heat is generated when compared to using your stove or oven.
- Boil water in your microwave, too. This will cut energy consumption by up to 60 percent compared to an electric range.
Stove Top Tips
- Use the right-size pot on stove burners. A 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner wastes over 40 percent of the burner’s heat. Also, cover pots and pans to keep the heat in. Using the right-size pot on stove burners can save about $36 annually for an electric range, or $18 for gas. Covering pots and pans helps you cook more efficiently and keeps your kitchen cooler.
Category: Home & Garden