Tips for $aving Money!

09-27-04

*Cut up old, worn clothes for cleaning rags. Use old socks for washrags. Place them over your hand for easy dusting.
*Make potholders out of old ironing board covers.
*Make kitchen towels or table runners out of soiled tablecloths and towels. Make drapes out of sheets and tablecloths.
*Cut off the unworn part of old sheets to make pillowcases.
*Save old Christmas paper and shred for use in gift bags.
*Make postcards, gift tags, or ornaments out of Christmas Cards. Display the best of your cards received over the years as a tree shape with a star on top. Be creative.
*Save leftover wallpaper to wrap presents. Unused maps also make great gift wrap. Construction paper and kitchen foil will also do well.
*Use leftover candle stumps as pincushions. Needles slide into fabric smoother.
*When your child's pullover sweaters becomes to tight to wear, turn them into a cardigan by cutting them straight down the front and binding the front edges with an attractive trim.
*Keep your fabric remnants. Even if you can't think of a use for them now, new projects will come along. You may end up using them in a quilting project or perhaps making a doll. They may become a collar or a piece of bias trim. There are lots of projects using scraps; doll clothes, miniature quilting for small blankets and purses. 
*Use leftover denim from cutoff jeans to make garden gloves. Simply trace around your fingers for the pattern. It is great fabric for creating a garden apron.

CHEAP AND FAST WAYS TO REDUCE HEAT IN AN APARTMENT /HOUSE (if no air conditioner available):

1. Use sun reflecting shades or insulating shades (often found at fabric stores) (secure closely to window)
2. Use foil (aluminum foil with shiniest side facing towards sun) stuck to windows reflecting back outwards [or solar curtains but I think real foil works better but you can't see out the window with real foil like you can solar curtains]
3. Use a layer of Styrofoam either in one block which can be removed or made into shutters or created by making a pillow of Styrofoam containers used in meat packaging between
two layers of mactac and stuck over foil.
4. Use heavy curtains over all of the above
5. Or use combinations of above.
6. Large fans blowing over containers of ice directed at a person.
7. Hand held paper fans
8. Battery operated personal fans
9. Cool baths/showers/repeated cool wet towels
10. Using plant misters, moisten your body while fan blows on you. (Moving air over sweaty skin or dampened skin will cause a person to feel cooler)  Especially in dry climates, a personal evaporative cooler (aka swamp cooler) works wells and is cheaper than a/c and I am told better than a/c in hot dry climates.

11. Keep all windows closed and windows well covered during day time, open at night, if possible to get the cooler air in hot dry climates (in hot moist open windows day and night to get maximum air flow but keep windows covered from direct sun).
12. If possible, develop a cross draft from windows being opened on opposite sides.
13. Caulk and weather-strip exterior doors and windows well.
14. Close interior doors to unused rooms and block spaces underneath those doors.

MORE EFFICIENT WAYS TO USE YOUR AIR CONDITIONER

1. For central air systems set thermostat for 78 degrees F. (If set at 72 much more energy needed to get about same result)
2. Close off unused rooms and close off vents partly to those rooms (If you have central air never close all vents even partially - could damage your system)
3. For window a/c units: Position fan close to and slightly lower than a/c to maximize air distribution. (Cool air will fall so let fan pick up and distribute through room)
4. Close all openings including fireplace dampers, windows and doors while a/c running.
5. Keep filters, air intakes grills etc. clean and do regular maintenance Dirty equipment takes more energy to work and does a poorer job.
6. Provide shade for the a/c unit outside but not so you interfere with air flow.
7, Insulate attic for benefits both in summer and winter
8, Plant shrubs near south and west walls to shade walls.

9. Use weather stripping to caulk all exterior doors and windows.

 

13 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY AND REDUCE ENERGY LOSS

1. Add Insulation and Check Ventilation
Add another layer of attic insulation. If during the winter, ice develops on your roof, you've got a problem. If everyone else's roof is covered with snow, but yours isn't, you've got a problem. Much of the time the problem is simply not enough attic insulation and/or a problem with your attic ventilation which should be able to draw any heat lost from the interior up and out of the attic so that the underside of the roof deck is not heated. An efficient attic ventilation system usually consists of a gable, roof or ridge vents, eave vents or a power ventilation system. [Also works to keep house cool] Keep all vents clean and free of debris. Clean the house gutters and leaders of soggy leaves before the snow falls. Keep gutters free of debris.

Add basement insulation, especially where the basement joins the frame of the house. Provide the recommended level of insulation under floors above unheated spaces, around walls in a heated basement or unventilated crawl space, and on the edges of slabs-on-grade
http://www.ornl.gov/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_01.html

Insulate your hot-water storage tank. Wrap your hot water tank in a thermal blanket and insulate hot water pipes.

Insulate for year-round savings. Regardless of what you use to heat or cool your place, your costs can decrease as much as 20% to 30% with adequate insulation.

(See the North America Insulation Manufactures Association
web site www.naima.org for insulation details.)

2. Use a Humidifier
Humidifiers can reduce your heating costs because humid air feels warmer. However, too much humidity can cause condensation on windows.

Humidifiers come in two basic types: portable, or a unit added to your furnace to add moisture to the dry air in winter.

3. Put on your Sweater First
or Warm Yourself First, Before Warming the Whole House/Apartment

Employ the layered look this winter indoors or out to benefit the most from heating efficiency.

At night, make sure your bedclothes and blankets are not too heavy. You want warm and light not heavy and sweat-producing.

4. Install a Programmable Thermostat

5. Let the Sun Shine Warm Your Rooms during the day if you have south or south west facing windows. Besides providing natural light, the sun will increase the warmth in the room without increased use of oil or gas.

To help retain sun's heat, keep aquarium or other water filled vessel in direct sun or containers of sand. After sun has passed, and drapes closed in evening, these 'collectors' will radiate their heat to the surrounding area.

As well, there are solar powered room heaters radiant and forced air which can be used to augment the heat in particular rooms Please check out http://www.cleardomesolar.com/

At night, close the draperies and/or shades on south-facing windows to reduce the chill you may feel from the cold glass.

Consider creating a sunspace within your house which would take advantage of south, southwest exposure to generate heat and circulate it through the rest of your house. [For more information on the basics of creating a sunspace, please see http://www.eren.doe.gov/erec/factsheets/sunspace.html ]

6. Cover the Windows

If you only have single pane windows, use storm windows or install clear plastic film across inside of window and frame. Heat with blow dryer. The trapped pocket of air between plastic film and window acts as an effective insulator helping to reduce heat loss through the window by 25-50%.

Repair any cracked or broken windows.

7. Clean, Clean, Clean

Keep air filters, base board heaters, radiators, air
registers clean and unobstructed from drapes, sofas, rugs etc.

8. Repair Holes or Loose Ducting

Have holes or loose hot air ducting repaired by licensed professional. If buying new, consider a system encased in insulation.

9. Weatherstrip, Seal and Caulk

It's easier to prevent, than to treat in medicine. So too in cars, houses, pets and most things. Stop those winter winds from getting in. Plug any holes which allow drafts to get in from the outside.

Weatherstrip, seal and caulk outside and also inside around doors and windows and caulk around electrical boxes and plumbing penetrations. Don't caulk around storm windows because that can hold in moisture and cause damage to the wood frame.

In addition to the basic window treatments above, there are many more which can save you money and increase comfortability for very little outlay both for summer and for winter. Moveable insulation, but are not limited to, awning, insulating shades, shutters, and draperies which can be applied to the inside of windows to reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.

Shading devices, such as awnings, exterior shutters, or screens, can be used to reduce unwanted heat gain in the summer. In most cases, these window treatments are more cost-effective than energy-efficient window replacements and should be considered first. Additional information on window treatments is available from EREC. Treating your windows is essential since they can account
for 25% of total house heat loss.

Attic hatches should be weatherstripped and the back of the hatch insulated as much as possible.

Stop cold air blasts from switches and outlets on exterior walls. Install low-cost, high-density foam gaskets and seal them into place with clear caulking.

Remove window air conditioners from window or cover well for winter. They let in cold air.

Keep fireplace damper closed when not in use.

Keep closet doors closed when not in use.

For those heating with electricity, caulking and insulating your attic could save you up to $200 a year on the electric heating bill. 10-15% of heat lost often comes from an improperly insulated attic. In addition, insulating your basement, could save you up to $335 on your electric heating bill. 20-25% of a home's heat loss comes from the basement sill plate where the foundation wall meets the house wall.

Caulking, weather-stripping and insulation can pay big dividends in the basement.

TIP: Light 2 sticks of incense on a windy day and hold near suspected air leak areas. A large leak will dissipate the smoke but leave the tips of the sticks glowing brightly. Make a list of To Do Places for further caulking.

TIP: Test windows and doors for air-tightness by making your own "draft detector". Clip a piece of tissue paper to a coat hanger. By holding the coat
hanger in front of a suspected crack; any movement of the paper indicates air leakage.

Caulking and weatherstripping can save approximately 10-25% on all energy costs.

10. Reduce thermostat in guest rooms or areas not being used at any one time.

11. Think about how you use lights and appliances

         When not in use, turn off.

         Sometimes don't turn the lights on

         Buy a lower wattage bulb.

Buy a 15 watt compact fluorescent, which uses 75% less energy, in place of an interior 60 watt bulb. Compact fluorescents cost more to buy and should only be used in lights which are used at least 3 hours a day and cannot be used with dimmer switches, or outside due to our winter temperatures.

         Try other types of lighting:
- fluorescent tubes use on average 60
to 80% less energy than regular incandescent
- halogen bulbs use up to 40% less electricity and be used with dimmer switches.


12. Make sure your fridge & freezer are not located near heat sources whether that be direct sunlight, an oven or a radiator.

13. Go High-Tech with Water

         Install low-flow showerheads which can cut water use by close to 60% which equals to around $80 a year on your electricity bill. Efficient shower heads cost between 10 and $30. As well, if you live in an area which uses large amounts of chlorine, there are shower heads available which will remove chlorine, as well.

         Add-ons for toilet tanks are available to reduce amount of water needed per flush

         Faucet aerators mix air into the water flow from your taps
and reduce water consumption by 25 to 50%.

         Fix leaking taps [often all it takes is a rubber washer] A leaky tap at one drop per second wastes 800 litres of water per month.

         Use Cold water washes for most clothes white or colored unless very soiled or greasy. Washing clothes uses approx. one-quarter of all household hot water. Cold water washes for whites is good for the fabrics, as well as your budget.
Cold water washes can be used for colors as well, if not excessively dirty and rinses can always be cold water. Just by using cold water rinsing, you can realize a saving of up to $23 a year in electricity costs.

         Run your clothes washer only when you have a full load or use a reduced load setting with less water.
Instead of running the washer at peak times,
use off-peak times such as late evening.

         When and where possible, dry your clothes outside.

For using your dishwasher, use the no-heat or energy saving drying cycle for savings. And wait until the washer is full before you run it.