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Vol. 64 Number 4


News orthwestern Electric February 2013


f you rent your home, it may seem that you can’t do a lot to control your electric bills. But in reality, there are several low- or no-cost ideas you can put into place to help lower your energy costs.


Renters have the power to save I


corners and irregular cracks, and can be used at the top and bottom of a window sash, door frames, attic hatches, and inoperable windows.


• Heating


• Electronics and appliances Look for phantom loads involving computers, printers, phone chargers, small appliances and electronics. Most electronics and small appliances feature a glowing light when turned off or a clock—that means they are still drawing electricity even though they are not in use. A quick fix for phantom loads involves plugging various devices into a power strip. Simply turn off the power strip when you won’t be using the devices.


• Weatherization


Check for gaps around doors and windows. Use an incense stick to spot air leaks. When it’s windy outside, hold a lit incense stick near your windows, doors, and electrical outlets. If the smoke blows sideways, you’ve got a leak. Ask your landlord if you can seal the cracks with caulk or weatherstripping. While you’re talking to your property manager, ask if he or she will pay the cost if you do the labor.


If your windows are drafty, try sealing kits you can purchase at any home improvement store. These plastic sheets fit over your window to block drafts. You can also use heavy drapes or blankets to keep out the chill. Rolled up towels or inexpensive door sweeps can help block air coming in under doors to the outside. Non-porous tape such as first aid cloth tape can be used to keep cold air from entering your home. Although it is not as durable as foam, rubber, or vinyl, cloth tape is good for blocking


If you have a central heating system, make sure the vents aren’t blocked by rugs, furniture, or drapes. Keeping the vents clear allows air to flow freely. Change the filter every month. You don’t have to buy the high dollar filters. The inexpensive ones will work just as well.


Set the thermostat no higher than 72° F when people are home. You can save about 3% on your heating bill for every 1° you lower the thermostat. Wearing warmer clothing or layers helps you stay comfortable when you turn the thermostat down.


Space heaters are designed to heat small spaces, not the whole house. The cost to run one 1,500 watt space heater could add up to $100 a month. If this is your only source of heat, use them to heat the rooms you are in. Close doors to unoccupied rooms and hallways to keep the heat in a confined space. (590400002) To help prevent accidents or fires, keep children, pets, furniture and combustible items at least three feet away from the heater. Never leave the unit unattended.


• Water heating Check the termperature on your water


heater. Lowering the temperature from 140° F to 120° F (medium setting on a gas heater) can cut water-heating costs by 6 to 10%. If you don’t have access to the water heater, ask your landlord to check it for you. Get water leaks fixed as soon as


possible. One dripping faucet can waste up to 48 gallons of water a week and waste energy from hot water.


Renting your home means energy efficiency solutions must be simple— a good start is plugging electronics into a power strip and flipping the strip off when you’re away. Source: Touchstone Energy®


Cooperatives • Laundry


Only use hot water for very dirty clothes and diapers. When clothes are not heavily soiled, wash in cold water using cold water detergents. Full loads of laundry in the washer save both energy and water. Adjust water levels for small loads.


Clean the lint from the dryer’s filter after every load. And don’t overload the dryer. Overloaded dryers take longer to dry clothes. Remember, you don’t pay for what


you don’t use. For more ways to save, give us a call at 580.256.7425 or go to www.TogetherWeSave.com.


Inside


Missing members .........2 CEO column ..................3 Recipe ............................3 Heater safety .................4 New office hours ...........4


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