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75+ Ways To Lower Cooling Tabs With Energy Saving Habits & Opportunities

(Many Of These Ways Also Lower Heating Bills)

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This Is Part-9 Of Our Article — Click Here To Read Part-1: AlsPlumbing.com 50 Ways to Lower Cooling Costs Part-1

Part-9 Of Our Article focuses on; Energy Saving Opportunities, Energy Saving Habits, & Energy Vampires.  Al’s Plumbing, in Plano, Texas Provides Full-Service Plumbing; Maintenance, Repairs, and Replacements For Every Plumbing Component In Your Home. We sell and install gas and electric water heaters.  Al’s is near your home in; Murphy, TX; Rowlette, TX; and Wylie, Texas.  We service all homes in southern Collin County, TX, and northeastern Dallas County, TX with no additional travel charges.

Call Al’s Today To Discuss Any Concerns Or Problems You Have With Your Home’s Plumbing. 

We will arrange an appointment at your convenience.

AlsPlumbing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Top Energy Saving Habits & Opportunities Throughout Your Home.

PLUS: “Energy-Vampires”.

newly built home

Image By Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Laundry Room: Energy Saving Opportunities & Habits

laundry room

Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu & Pexels.com

https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-front-load-washing-machines-in-a-room-9720924/

  • Wash Laundry In Cold Water — using hot water represents 90% of total energy use.
  • Unless you are removing oil or grease — warm or cold water sufficiently cleans; towels, sheets & clothes.
  • Cold-water washing extends the life of; towels, clothes, and bedding. **
  • Cold-water washing is the best way to keep towels soft & fluffy. **

** Source:https://www.towelsupercenter.com/blog/the-correct-temperature-to-wash-towels

  • Leaving Dryer Running After Clothes Are Dry.
  • A dryer removes (cooled/heated) indoor air from your home and vents it outdoors.
  • In 1 hour — a dryer removes all the (cooled/heated) air inside a 2,000 square foot home.
  • If your laundry room has a window — open it a little while the dryer is running
  • This allows the dryer to use outdoor air — versus removing (cooled/heated) indoor air.

NOTE: A clothes dryer’s lint screen doesn’t remove all the lint flowing through it.

  • Clean the dryer’s lint screen filter after each load.  A clogged lint screen filter substantially reduces airflow through the dryer. 
  • Have the (home’s) dryer venting cleaned.
  • Lint build-up inside the venting reduces air flow through the dryer — and may create a fire-hazard.
  • Clean the (dryer’s) exhaust line.  The lint filter doesn’t catch everything — lint builds up within the dryer’s exhaust line.  See Photo Just Below.
  • Lint build-up inside the dryer’s vent line reduces air flow through the dryer — and may create a fire-hazard.
  • Shown below is a device to remove built-up lint inside a dryer’s vent line.

Shown: Dryer Exhaust Venting Cleaner

Click On Image To; View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

As an Amazon Associate Al’s Plumbing earns from qualifying purchases



Ceiling Fans Offer Substantial Energy Saving Opportunities

  • A Ceiling Fan’s electricity usage averages about 75 watts per hour.

Source: https://energyusecalculator.com/index.htm

TIP: Flush-Mount Ceiling Fans move less air than those on a downrod.

  • Because a downrod fan hangs lower, there’s more air above the blades.
  • A standard downrod fan (2nd image below) — is designed for 8-foot ceilings.

Ceiling Fan Direction

  • SUMMER: Blowing Down (clockwise) Moves air directly downward.
  • WINTER: Blowing Up (counterclockwise) Moves heat (near the ceiling) downward along the walls.

Source: https://applianceanalysts.com/flush-vs-downrod-ceiling-fan/

SHOWN: Flush-Mount Ceiling Fan — For 8′ Ceilings

Click On Image To; View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

As an Amazon Associate Al’s Plumbing earns from qualifying purchases.SHOWN: (Hunter Brand) Downrod Ceiling Fan — For 8-Foot Ceilings

 Click On Image To; View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

As an Amazon Associate Al’s Plumbing earns from qualifying purchases.



TV Streaming Devices

  • Stream TV through a dedicated streaming device that plugs into the back of the TV.
  • Streaming through gaming consoles uses 75-100 watts each hour.  An Amazon Firestick uses 2.2 watts.
  • Note: Smart TV’s are Streaming-Ready.

Shown: Amazon Firestick HD Streaming Add-On Device With  Alexa Voice Remote

Click On Image To; View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

As an Amazon Associate Al’s Plumbing earns from qualifying purchases

Other Energy-Saving Habits

  • If You’re Not Using It — Turn It Off. 
  • Turn The Water Off While; shaving & brushing teeth.
  • Turn off bath vent fans as soon as you’re finished.   They remove (cooled/heated) indoor air from your home.  Outdoor air then enters through air leaks.
  • Use Window Coverings To Your Advantage.  During summer, close west-facing blinds during the afternoon & evening.
  • Well-Placed Landscaping Can Block Afternoon & Evening Sun.
  • Heat Pump?  Raise the thermostat setting only +2 degrees at a time.
  • More than +2 degrees activates Electric Heating  — which uses up to 4 times as much electricity as the heat pump.
  • Enhance Natural Light With Mirrors or Light Colored Walls.  This may help reduce the amount of lighting needed in a room.

mirror reflecting natural light

Image Source: Photo by Charlotte May-5825578 Pexels.com



Are You Waiting a Long Time For Hot Water? 

Add An Energy Saving “Point Of Use” Water Heater – Inside The Cabinet..

It Delivers Hot Water To The Tap In 1 Second.

chrome one handle bath faucet

Image Source: Pixabay

No More Wasted (heated) Water — Waiting For It To Reach The Tap.

NOTE: This Can Be A DIY Installation.

Al’s Plumbing Installs These Water Heaters. 

You Buy It — And Al’s Can Install It.

TIP:

  • A 15-Amp Circuit Breaker trips above 1,800 watts.  **
  • A 20-Amp Circuit Breaker trips above 2,400 watts.
  • Check the Amperage Of Your Bathroom Circuit Breaker before buying a Point-Of-Use water heater — that its wattage won’t trip the breaker.

** Source:  https://www.builderscalculator.com/2021/01/29/max-watts-15-20-amp-circuit/


Note: ALL Sizes Of This Brand Use: 1,450 Watts.

2.5 Gallon — Ideal For Inside The Cabinet Of A Bathroom Sink.  Size: 14.25″W X 12.75″D X 14.25″H

SHOWN: 2.5 Gallon Plug-In Electric Water Heater (no special wiring needed).

Click On Image To; View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

As an Amazon Associate Al’s Plumbing earns from qualifying purchases.


NOTE: This Article’s Author Has The Brand:  2.5 Gallon In Bath & 4 Gallon In Kitchen.

 

Note: ALL Sizes Of This Brand Use: 1,450 Watts.

4 Gallon — Ideal For A Cabinet Alongside The Sink Cabinet.  Size: 14.25″W X 12.75″D X 14.5″H

SHOWN: 4 Gallon Plug-In Electric Water Heater (no special wiring needed).

Click On Image To; View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

As an Amazon Associate Al’s Plumbing earns from qualifying purchases.


Note: ALL Sizes Of This Brand Use: 1,450 Watts.

8 Gallon — May Work Kitchen In A Cabinet That’s Alongside The Sink Cabinet (check size).  17.5″W X 15.25″D X 17.5″H

SHOWN: 8 Gallon Plug-In Electric Water Heater (no special wiring needed).

Click On Image To; View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

As an Amazon Associate Al’s Plumbing earns from qualifying purchases.



Energy-Vampires — And How To Help Tame Them

Pool Pumps use 1,500 — 2,500 watts per hour.  TIP: 8 Hours Per Day keeps a pool adequately filtered.

2,000 Watt Pool Pump Operating Cost:

  • 8 hours / day  @ 12 cents / kWh = $2. per day x 365 days = $725. per year.   Note: In the southern 1/3 of the U.S. — pools are open year-round.
  • 24 hours / day @ 12 cents / kWh = $5.75 x 365 days = $2,100. per year.

Pool Heater Types:

  • Solar: Price $3,000-9,500 (depends on pool size).                    Operating Cost:   $25-125 / month.       Note: Solar heaters last 25-30 years.  Size Needed: 3/4 of the pool’s surface.
  • Electric: Price: $1,200-6,200 Use  / month.                               Operating Cost: $300-600 / month.    Note: Best Choice in northern U.S. — Where gas ISN’T available.
  • Gas: Price: $1,300 – $6,300.                                                            Operating Cost: $300-600 / month.    Note: Best Choice in northern U.S. —  Where gas IS available.
  • Heat Pump: Price: $2,300-7,700.   Use 5,000 watts / hour.  Operating Cost:    $50-150 / month.      Note: Best Choice in middle & southern U.S. — Where gas IS & ISN’T available.


TIP: Add A Solar Pool Blanket — It Helps Heat Your Pool For Free.

PLUS: They Reduce Heat Loss During Cooler Weather.

PLUS: They Reduce Water Evaporation Year-Round.

SHOWN: Solar Pool Cover

16 x 32 Feet Solar Pool Cover (Note: available in several other sizes)

Click On Image To; View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

As an Amazon Associate Al’s Plumbing earns from qualifying purchases.

Amazon’s Website Says:

  • Sun2Solar (brand) Solar Blankets are a film with thousands of tiny bubbles that retain heat.
  • Blue Color adds an appealing look.   Clear color is available in some sizes. 
  • Trim To Fit.  Trimming doesn’t affect the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Minimize Water Evaporation – Prevents up to 75% of pool water evaporation. 
  • Minimize Heat Loss

Source: https://poolresearch.com/heater-cost/

Source: https://www.medallionenergy.com/pool-heater-comparison-buyers-guide-2021/


Adding Grommets To A Pool Blanket

 Allows Water (pooled on top of blanket) To Drain Back Into The Pool

SHOWN: Sun2Solar (brand) Grommets 6-Pack

Click On Image To; View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

As an Amazon Associate Al’s Plumbing earns from qualifying purchases.

Amazon’s Site Says:

  • Quick-Drain Grommets Allow Water (pooled on top of the solar blanket) To Drain Back Into The Pool — While The Blanket Is Being Removed.
  • Grommets are installed along the edges of the blanket.
  • Help Anchor The Blanket From High Winds.  These grommets enable some water to pool atop the solar blanket.  As you remove the blanket, pooled water drains into the pool.
  • Installed with a small hammer.


The “Double-Effect” Of Indoor Energy-Vampires. 

They Create Heat — Which Must Be Removed By Air Conditioning During Summer.

TIP: The electrical wattage of an indoor item indicates how much heat it generates. 1 watt is equal to 3.5 BTU/hour.  Example: A 1500-watt electric heater produces 5,200 BTUs.

  • The effects of  Indoor Energy Vampires increase the farther south you live in the U.S. — Because the A/C season is longer and outdoor temps are higher.
  • In Minnesota: A/C typically runs 250-350 Hours Per Year.
  • In Florida: A/C typically runs 1500+ Hours Per Year.

Source: https://mn.gov/commerce-stat/pdfs/card-improving-insullation.pdf


Energy Saving Habits — Slaying Energy Vampires

cable tv set top box

Image Source: Shutterstock

Shown: Cable TV Receiver Box

Two Easy Ways To Disconnect Energy Vampires From Electricity

A Plug-In On/Off Switch 

TIP: Use Velcro To Attach It To The Device Where The Switch Is Easy To Reach

Image Source: Amazon.com Embedded Link

As an Amazon Associate, We earn from qualifying purchases.

SHOWN: 4-Pack Plug-In On/Off Switch

TIP: Use An Extension Cord To Install The Switch Beside The Cable Box.


-OR- Install An Amazon Alexa Compatible Smart Plug

Image Source: Amazon.com Embedded Link

As an Amazon Associate, We earn from qualifying purchases.

SHOWN: 4-Pack Amazon Alexa Compatible Smart Plug


1 Amazon Alexa Unit Can Control Smart-Plugs Throughout Your Home

Image Source: Amazon.com Embedded Link

As an Amazon Associate, We earn from qualifying purchases.

SHOWN: Amazon Alexa Echo Dot Device


An Energy Vampire — Hiding In Plain Sight

photo of refrigerator

Image Source: Pexels.com

Electricity Usage For 20 Cubic Feet Side By Side Refrigerator — By Year Built

TIP: The More Electricity A Refrigerator Uses — The More Heat It Generates — That Your A/C Must Remove.

Annual Electricity Usage — And Cost (at 12 cents per kWh):

  • Pre-1980:      3325 kWh  $400   Generates 11,637,500 BTUs Of Heat (11 Million, 637,500)
  • 1980’s:           2525 kWh  $315
  • 1990-82:       2000 kWh $245
  • 1993-2000    1325 kWh  $160
  • 2001-2010      850 kWh  $105
  • 2010-Present 575  kWh    $70  Generates 2,012,500 BTUs Of Heat (2 Million, 12,500)
  • Refrigerators built since 2010 are currently the most energy-efficient (when this was written).

Source: https://www.energystar.gov/products/appliances/refrigerators/flip-your-fridge

Copy The The Link Below Into Your Browser For A Refrigerator Energy Use (Based On When It Was Made) CALCULATOR:

https://www.EnergyStar.gov/products/appliances/refrigerators/flip-your-fridge



Standby / Remote Controlled Energy Vampires

Remote Controlled Devices Must Constantly Use Electricity (While Turned Off) — So They “Stay Alert” For A Remote Control’s Signal. 

Note: These are good candidates for on/off switch or Smart-Plug.

  • Desktop computer (in sleep mode): 85 watts
  • Laptop Computer (while not charging): 50 watts.
  • WIFI Router/Modem: 100 watts
  • Video game console: 65 watts
  • TV: 50 watts
  • DVR Cable TV box: 45 watts
  • Cable TV box: 35 watts
  • Satellite TV box: 35 watts
  • DVD or Blu-Ray player 10.5 watts
  • Stereo: 5.5 watts
  • Computer Speakers: 5.5 watts
  • Computer Ink Jet Printer: 4 W
  • Desktop Computer LCD Monitor: 3.5 watts
  • Countertop Appliance Clock/Timer: 3 watts
  • Surge Protector: 6.5 watts.
  • For Seldom-Used Devices: Unplug them & the surge protector.  TIP: Leave the device plugged into the surge protector — so it’s there when you need it.
  • For Frequently-Used Devices: The electricity used by the protector helps ensure that a power surge doesn’t destroy the device.
  • Smart Plugs/Outlets: 2 watts

NOTE:

  • 75% of Power Surges originate inside the home (called: internal power surges).
  • They occur each time a high-demand device shuts off.
  • A 1500-Watt Blow Dryer — is one of the biggest internal power-surge generators.

Source: https://20somethingfinance.com/electrical-leaking-standby-appliance-list/

Source: https://www.srpnet.com/energy/DIY/vampire.aspx


These Don’t Qualify As Energy Vampires

If Cou Can’t Easily Unplug Them — Don’t Lose Sleep Over It.

When discussing Energy Vampires, many articles list these below.  Their electricity usage is minimal.  If they’re easy to unplug, do that.  If not easy to unplug — your time & effort is better spent on the energy saving habits discussed earlier in this article.

Hourly Electricity Usage:

  • Garage Door Opener: 7.5  watts.  This convenience costs around $21.50/ year.  To save $21.50 — you must manually open the garage door.
  • Cell Phone Chargers: .26 (1/4) of 1 watt. 
  • Cordless Phone: 2 watts.
  • Laptop Computer Chargers: 4.5 watts.
  • Laptop Computer: 10 watts.
  • WIFI Router: 6 Watts.

Source: https://stanfordmag.org/contents/vampire-energy-essential-answer

  • Digital Displays In Appliances: 1-4 Watts.

Copy The Link Below Into Your Browser To See The Electricity Usage Of Many Common Household Items:

https://energyusecalculator.com/index.htm

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75+ Ways To Lower Cooling Tab – Part 9

Without Replacing Your HVAC System

(Many Of These Ways Also Lower Heating Bills)

©

This Was Part-9 Of Our Article — Click Here To Read Part-1: AlsPlumbing.com 50 Ways to Lower Cooling Costs Part-1

This Was Part-9 Of Our Article About How To Lower Your Cooling Tab Without Replacing Your HVAC System.   This part was focused on Energy-Saving Opportunities and Habits.

Al’s Plumbing, in Plano, Texas Provides Full-Service Plumbing; Maintenance, Repairs, and Replacements For Every Plumbing Component In Your Home. We sell and install gas and electric water heaters.  Al’s is near your home in; Murphy, TX; Rowlette, TX; and Wylie, Texas.  We service all homes in southern Collin County, TX, and northeastern Dallas County, TX with no additional travel charges.

Call Al’s Today To Discuss Any Concerns Or Problems You Have With Your Home’s Plumbing. 

We will arrange an appointment at your convenience.