During all seasons, home energy management is a paramount concern for many home owners. The winter months provide a particular challenge in energy conservation, and there are a number of tactics that can be used throughout your house that will yield significant home heating savings. Let’s take a look at what can be done.
Attend to your thermostat regularly. Aside from keeping the temperature set as low as your are comfortable with, remember to turn the thermostat down when you are out of the house for any extended period of time. energy.gov notes that turning your thermostat down at least 10 degrees for eight hours during the winter months (while at work, for instance) can save as much as 10% a year on your heating bills.
Adjust your windows. Ensure curtains on any south-facing windows in your home are wide open during the winter months in order to encourage sunlight to heat your home. Close the curtains once the sun passes on. Additionally, you can insulate windows to prevent drafts by applying clear plastic film to the inside of window frames. Insulating drapes can also be used.
Prevent fireplace heat loss. Always ensure your fireplace damper is closed unless you are actively using the fireplace. Closing the damper keeps warm air trapped within your house, while leaving it open is effectively the same as leaving a window open in winter. Additionally, when actively using the fireplace, close all the doors leading into the room in which the fireplace is located and crack open the window nearest to the fireplace as much as one inch. Lower your thermostat as much as is reasonable when utilizing your fireplace.
Between fireplace usage, you may also consider caulking around the fireplace hearth. Also, if you simply have no plans to use your fireplace in the future, seal the chimney flue.
Manage water heating costs. Water heating is a big deal — it can account for as much as 25% of the energy used by your home. Adjust your water heater to its warm setting (120 degrees F). Regular servicing of your heater will also ensure it runs at an optimal level, saving you from high energy costs. Specifically, regular drainage of your water heater’s tank every few months will aid in keeping costs down, particularly in the winter. For specifics on draining your water heater, please refer to our How-To here: http://www.poolesplumbing.com/plumbing-tips/how-to-drain-a-water-heater/
The advantages of a dual flush toilet versus a conventional toilet can be summed up concisely: Environmental impact, cost savings and upkeep.
Environmental Impact. Dual flush toilets bear their namesake because of the two (dual) setting mechanism that drives their operation. This two setting mechanism is usually a button or a lever on the toilet that allows you to flush either a low volume flush or a high volume flush. Low volume flushes are designed for liquid waste, while high volume flushes are designed for solid waste. Unlike standard toilets designed with only one flushing option, the low volume flush of dual flush toilets allows for the conservation of water when using the liquid waste setting. As such, dual flush toilets are high efficiency toilets (HET) and are in compliance with the National Energy Policy Act of 1994, using no more than 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) compared to older toilet models that use as much as 3.5 to 5 gpf. Lower volume flushes on new dual flush toilets do not use more than 1.1 gpf.
Cost Savings. A dual flush toilet drives lower water usage in your home, thereby saving money on your monthly water bill. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 4,000 gallons of water can be saved annually in a residential household that employs dual flush toilets.
Low Upkeep. Older, “one flush” toilets simply use a pressure siphoning system to dispose of waste. Dual flush toilets are generally designed to utilize gravity to dispose of waste down a large trapway. This design typically cuts down on clogging and saves you the headache of an undesirable plunging expedition.
The Arbor with MotionSense kitchen faucet from Moen is designed with ease of use and water conservation in mind thanks to its MotionSense technology. The MotionSense faucet head senses your hands via the ready sensor at the base of the faucet and activates water flow automatically, allowing a hands-free control that pays dividends when using soap and lathering up. Water flow doesn’t begin until the lathering process is complete, and soap and water spots stay off the faucet thanks to the hands-free control. Common, everyday kitchen tasks are made easier and more efficient with a MotionSense faucet installed. Additionally, the faucet’s sensor combined with its eco performance design minimizes water use and helps cut down on yearly water bills.
The chrome finish of the Arbor with MotionSense kitchen faucet blends well with any interior decor, and the one-handle lever design further simplifies the faucet by allowing for one-handed manual adjustment of the water stream. The slick design of the pull-downspout allows for a movable, adjustable spray head that’s ideal for cleaning pots and pans.
Moen’s MotionSense faucet also sports the following additional features:
- Reflex system for secure docking of the pull-down spray head
- Pause function that allows for quick stoppage of water flow from the faucet head
- Aerated stream for normal cleaning
- Power rinse for heavier cleaning
- Single hole mount that streamlines design
- Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifications
- 5 year warranty on digital components and a limited lifetime trim warranty
Thinking of installing a Moen MotionSense Kitchen Faucet yourself? Watch this how to install a MotionSense Kitchen Faucet video by Moen.