Stay warm, shift and reduce your energy use this winter with these simple tips from Duke Energy.
No-sweat advice for heating your home
- Program or adjust your thermostat to avoid heating an empty home or empty rooms during times of day or night. You can save around 10 percent a year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day. Consider installing a programmable thermostat which will allow you to automatically set specific temperatures so you can shift energy away from the on-peak times you have chosen, to less expensive off-peak times. Adjust your thermostat when you leave for work, before bed, when you return home, and other common sense times.
- Change your filter
A dirty filter makes your heating system work harder and use more energy. Replace your filter every few months or opt for a washable one – they can last up to five years. Don’t forget: changing your filters can cut down on dust around the house.
- Let a fan give you a hand
The ceiling fans in your home are a great way to help you stay warm in the winter. Simply set the fans to operate in a clockwise direction. This will push warm air collecting near the ceiling, back down into the room.
Keep your head above water
- Timing your clothes washing
Remember to wash your clothes only during the off-peak times you have chosen or during weekends when it is always off-peak.
- Wash with cold water
Ninety percent of the energy used by washing machines goes into heating the water. Consider using the cold water setting next time you do laundry. Your regular detergent should work just fine, or you may want to try detergents designed especially for cold water use.
- Dishwasher tips
As much as 80 percent of the energy your dishwasher uses goes to heat water. So, try turning off the "pre-rinse" option and instead rinse your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. Also, run the dishwasher when it’s full and during off-peak times.
- Shower Power
Remember the on-peak times and refrain from taking a shower during that time frame if possible. Install a low-flow shower head. These shower heads typically use 15 gallons of water during a 10 minute shower compared to a bath that can use up to 25 gallons of water.
Food for thought
- Cooking up a deal
Try to do most of your cooking in the microwave or on top of the range instead of in the oven during on-peak times to save energy and money.
- Old appliance recycling incentives
Having a second refrigerator or freezer can be convenient, but it can also run up your monthly electric bill. Why not turn in your old refrigerator through the Appliance Recycling Program? You can earn up to $100 – $50 rebate check for each unit with free convenient pickup and removal of your old refrigerator.
More power to you
- Replace incandescent bulbs with EnergyStar® rated bulbs
Install compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs to cut electric light consumption by up to 75 percent. They last many times longer too. About 10-17 percent of home electric use is from lighting. Replace old bulbs and save. Duke Energy Progress offers significant retail discounts from time to time.
- Put timers on lights and a bath fans
Active families tend to “burn” lights and run bath fans longer than needed. Install timers that “time-out” and shut off when there is no need.
- Brighter isn’t always better
Some newer TVs are automatically configured for "store" mode, which is a brighter, high-energy mode set by manufacturers prior to shipping. Try out the "home" setting for a better picture, longer TV life and energy savings of up to 30 percent.
- Take a bite out of energy
"Energy vampires" loom in and around your home. Devices like your cell phone charger, gaming system and power strips use energy – unplug them when you’re not using them. Also change the way you use other equipment – if you don’t think you’ll use your computer for a while, shut it down and only turn on your printer when needed.
- Upgrade inefficient home systems
Energy efficiency is one of the few investments that can help you gain a return on your energy bill and on the value of your home. Duke Energy Progress offer rebates for air duct repair and replacement, attic insulation upgrade and attic sealing, geothermal heat pump replacement, HVAC audit, high-efficiency heat pump replacement and high-efficiency central AC replacement.