FYI » Energy Facts You Probably Never Knew Before!

Click on any of the categories below to take you to a list of research facts about your selection:

Generic Facts on Saving Energy in Your Home

» A typical US family spends about $1900/yr on energy bills, or $160/mo » A “whole-house energy efficiency plan” is key to saving the most energy in your home

Appliance Facts

» EmPower+ dishwashers use at least 40% less energy than required by Federal Standards

» The “rinse-hold” setting on your dishwasher uses 3-7 gallons of hot water with each use

» Propping your dishwasher door open after the final rinse will dry your dishes faster

» Refrigerator models with an “anti-sweat” heater will consume 5-10% more energy than models without this feature

» Uncovered foods and liquids in your refrigerator release moisture and make the compressor work harder, thus reducing the actual lifespan of your appliance

» Top freezer model refrigerators are more energy efficient than side-by-side models

» A covered kettle or pan boils liquids faster, using less gas or electricity

» A toaster oven uses 33-50% less energy than a full-size oven

» EmPower+ model clothes washers use 15 gallons of water per load as compared to 32.5 gallons used by a NEW standard model and spin the clothes better, resulting in less drying time

» 90% of the energy used for washing your clothes in a conventional top-load washer is for heating the water. Consider using cold water instead with the many brands of cold-water detergents available on the market today

» Clothes dryers are never labeled by “EmPower+” as they all use similar amounts of energy

» “Moisture Sensor” clothes dryers will shut the machine off automatically when your clothes are dry, saving both energy and the wear and tear of your fabric from over-drying

Insulation Facts

» Insulation does not make your home warmer, heat does. Insulation helps hold in the heat!

» Insulation is rated by its “R” value, ex: R-30 holds heat better than an R-19 value

» Attic insulation is one of the most cost effective ways to make your home more comfortable year-round

» If your home has adequate insulation in the attic (be sure you find out first!) and you still feel a bit uncomfortable, invest in adding insulation to the exterior walls. Check with your contractor to see what type of insulation is best for walls

» Open crawl space (dirt floor) environments are similar in temperature of the outside air. In winter, your floors will be cold. Frozen water lines are common with this crawl space layout. Insulation in your crawlspace keeps the warm air of your home from being absorbed by the cold air in the crawl space. Be sure to stuff insulation in any open vents, being careful to remove them in the warmer months to avoid moisture buildup

Electrical & Lighting Facts

» More than 11% of your energy budget is used for lighting purposes, more for those who have home businesses and are using their office equipment on a daily basis, often 7 days/wk

» CFL (Compact Florescent Lighting) bulbs last 6-12 times longer than a standard light bulb

» CFLs can be applied nearly anywhere that incandescent lights are used. Energy-efficient CFLs can be used in recessed fixtures, table lamps, track lighting, ceiling fixtures and porchlights. 3-way CFLs are also now available for lamps with 3-way settings. Dimmable CFLs are also available for lights using a dimmer switch

» Reduce pollution! Replacing a single incandescent bulb with a CFL will keep a 1,000 lbs of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the life of the bulb. If everyone in the U.S. used energy-efficient lighting, we could retire 90 average size power plants. Saving electricity reduces CO2 emissions, sulfur oxide and high-level nuclear waste

» CFL bulbs do contain a very small amount of mercury sealed in the glass tubing. Many places offer free recycling services to dispose of properly

» LED (Light Emitting Diodes) bulbs last 25 times longer than a standard bulb, 10 times longer than a CFL bulb, and perform extremely well in outdoor environments

» LED bulbs do not cause heat build-up; LEDs produce 3.4 btu’s/hour, compared to 85 for incandescent bulbs. This also cuts down on air conditioning costs in the home. Older style outdoor holiday lights should be replaced with LED lighting. They are not hot to the touch, and will save you hundreds on your electric bill

» LED bulbs are extremely durable, and will hold up to most jarring and bumping situations. The bulbs are solid and have no delicate filament inside as standard bulbs.

» LED bulbs are available as lighting for rooms, porches, reading lamps, accent lamps, hallways, low-light conditions where lights remain on for extended periods of time, track lighting, recessed downlight and spotlight fixtures, and floodlight fixtures

» Floodlight LED bulbs provide a wider, dispersed light that is well suited for ceiling lights, outdoor floodlights, retail display lighting, landscape lighting, and motion sensors

» LED bulbs are “mercury-free”

»Many cities in the US are replacing their incandescent traffic lights with LED arrays because the electricity costs can be reduced by 80% or more, and maintenance and replacement costs are astronomically reduced

» Air leaks occur at every electrical junction box — walls, attics, ceilings. Be sure to insulate (by a qualified contractor who has been properly trained) around any fixtures than display signs of leaking

Heating & Cooling System Facts

» The top 3 systems consuming over 50% of your utility bill are:

  1. Heating System
  2. Cooling System
  3. Water Heater

» Even if you install a new top of the line, energy efficient furnace, you could still be loosing heat if the ducts, walls, attic, windows, and doors are not properly sealed and insulated. Warm homes require that you keep the heat in your home — don’t let it escape!

» You can loose up to 60% of heated air before it reaches the registers if the duct work is not properly sealed, or the duct work piping is not of the proper diameter to heat your rooms effectively. Certified contractors will let you know if the duct work is in need of repair

» Heating & Cooling systems in the US together emit over 150 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, adding to the world’s climate change

» Tankless water heaters can save you up to 30% more than a standard water heater and are much smaller in size

» Draining 1 quart of water from your water heater every 3 months will prolong its life by removing any built-up sediment. If you are unsure of the proper way to do this, hire a contractor

» A “Coolerado” air conditioner uses up to 90% less electricity than traditional air conditioners and is cost competitive with traditional AC units

Home Electronics Facts (recommended by Home EmPower+)

» Before making a new purchase on a TV, the EPA recommends looking at your features, size, and resolution needs and taking into account the impact of each on overall energy consumption — become your own “EmPower+” consumer

» Unplug power adapters when they are not in use. The EPA says most US homes have 5 power adapters plugged in, many not in use. Be sure to turn the power button off of the strips when you have your electronic components powered down, it too draws power.

» Power adapters draw power from the wall even when nothing is attached to it

» Put your computer and monitor in “sleep mode” to conserve energy