Energy Tips To Help Your Pocketbook And America

According to the Department of Energy, household energy costs have increased a whopping 12 percent from 2004. Even more startling is the price of natural gas, which rose by 23 percent.

The good news is that there are many actions Americans can take to lower their energy bills, and at the same time help the nation become more energy independent.

Keep Your Cool This Summer

Use a microwave oven instead of a conventional oven.

Use a power strip to control your electricity use. A large number of electrical products-especially home electronics-can’t be switched off completely without being unplugged. These products draw power 24 hours a day. Plugging them into a power strip to shut them off will save you money.

Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 115° and take showers instead of baths.

Wash only full loads of dishes and laundry.

Landscape For Efficiency

The shelter from three trees, properly planted around a house, can cut annual heating/cooling costs up to $250.

Grow vines on trellises to shade windows, the side of a house or AC units.

AC, Appliances And Lighting

Open windows, when conditions permit, and use fans instead of air-conditioning. Use a fan to maximize and spread the cooled air from air conditioner units.

Use a programmable thermostat with the AC to adjust the unit at night or when no one is home.

Keep lamps and TVs away from the thermostat. Heat from appliances and lamps could cause the air conditioner to run longer.

Shade The Windows

Install white shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat. Close curtains on southwest-facing windows during the day. Sunny windows can make an air conditioner work three times harder.

Replace single- and double-paned windows with Energy Star-labeled windows to save energy and money for years to come. Install them before December 31, 2007, and qualify for a tax credit.


Caulking and weather stripping will help keep out hot outside air, thus keeping indoor air cool. If you see holes in ducts, hire a professional to repair them.

Add insulation around AC ducts in attics and crawl spaces.

Consider investing in insulation for the whole house.

Whenever possible, purchase products with the Energy Star label. The label means you are investing in energy efficiency, value, comfort and high performance.

Homeowners can save an estimated 30 percent (about $450) a year on their home energy bill by using Energy Star-qualified products.

Energy Conservation Begins at Home

As Americans face rising fuel prices, many are looking for ways to save money and energy in their homes.

The pressure to reduce energy consumption and costs is inspiring homeowners to challenge the relevance of old heating and hot water solutions and consider other cost-effective options, such as wall-hung boiler technology.

Wall-hung boilers have been common in homes throughout Europe for the past three decades and are now emerging as a popular alternative for heating homes and businesses in North America.

Baxi Luna wall-hung boilers, for instance, are helping homeowners throughout the U.S. cut their home heating and hot water fuel consumption in half. These boilers are fully modulating, meaning they start at a preset, high-fire position and gradually reduce fuel output until the heating demand is met. At this point, the boiler automatically shuts off.

Billed as one of the quietest boilers on the market, Baxi Luna boilers are fired by propane or natural gas. No bigger than a kitchen cabinet, a Baxi Luna boiler can be installed in the closet – saving valuable living space in homes of up to 6,000 square feet.

The boiler also is making commercial buildings more efficient. For example, this year a heating specialist in Biddeford, Maine, installed eight Baxi Luna high-efficiency condensing boilers in the City Hall and City Theatre. People living in the city expect the new heating system to reduce fuel use by at least 50 percent and save taxpayers money even in the face of rising fuel costs.

Baxi Luna wall-hung boilers are approved by the American Gas Association and Canadian Standards Association. Consumers can take comfort from the boilers’ Energy Star certification (for energy efficiency) and H-Stamp rating (for operating effectiveness).

These environmentally friendly products are quiet enough to install in the back of a large closet, even in the master bedroom. They are ideal for in-floor radiant heating systems and are compatible with any type of air handler, wall or baseboard radiators and custom radiant applications, such as heated towel racks or snow melt.