Here are more tips to help you cut your energy bills this winter:
- Check out dryers with moisture sensors, high-efficiency refrigerators and horizontal axis (front loading) washer machines which use less water and energy yet get clothes as clean as conventional units.
- Join the Alliance's "4 for the planet" challenge. Just replace your four most-used 100-watt incandescent bulbs with four comparable 23-watt compact fluorescent bulbs to save $82 over three years. If all U.S. households did the same, we'd save as much energy as that consumed by 7 million cars in one year!
- Plug surprising "electronic leaks." Did you know that your idle TVs, VCRs, cable boxes, CD players, cassette decks, cordless phones, burglar alarms and microwaves continue to consume energy when switched off to keep display clocks lit and memory chips and remote controls working? That costs consumers $3 billion annually in energy charges.
- Don't like coming home to a dark house on those short winter days? Instead of leaving lights on, put timers on a few of the lights in your home or install motion detectors on exterior floodlights to improve your home security. After you get inside, the sensor will "remember" to turn the lights off.
- Activate "sleep" features on computers and office equipment that power down when the equipment is on but not in use for a while. Turn off equipment during long periods of nonuse to cut costs and improve longevity.
- Let the sun help heat your home by keeping blinds of sun-exposed windows open in the day time and closed at night.
- To avoid sticker shock at the pump, select fuel-efficient cars and the most fuel efficient SUVs and urge manufacturers to use fuel-efficient technologies for SUVs. Consider new hybrid cars. Improve fuel economy of existing or new cars by doing proper maintenance, maintaining adequate tire inflation and driving a little slower.