Tips and Tricks
There are things you can do to cut your energy use and help control your living costs by making your
home more energy efficient.
Adjust your day-to-day behaviors – To reduce energy consumption in your home, you do not necessarily need to go out and purchase energy efficient products. Energy conservation can be as simple as turning off lights or appliances when you do not need them.
Replace your light bulbs –– Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume an excessive amount of electricity and must be replaced more often than their energy efficient alternative. Halogen incandescent bulbs, CFL and LED light bulbs use anywhere from 25-80% less electricity and last three to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.
Use smart power strips – “Phantom loads”, or the electricity used by electronics when they are turned off or in standby mode, are a major source of energy waste. Smart power strips eliminate the problem of phantom loads by shutting off the power to electronics when they are not in use.
Install a programable or smart thermostat – A programmable or smart thermostat can be set to automatically turn off or reduce heating and cooling during the times when you are asleep or away from home. When you install a programmable thermostat you eliminate wasteful energy, without upgrading your HVAAC system or sacrificing any comfort.
Purchase energy efficient appliances – When you purchase an appliance, you should look for purchase an appliance, you should look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which is a federal guarantee that the appliance will GY STAR label, which is a federal guarantee that the appliance will a federal guarantee that the appliance will consume less energy during use and when on standby. Brainerd Public Utilities also offers rebates g use and when on standby. Brainerd Public Utilities also offers rebates by. Brainerd Public Utilities also offers rebates for energy efficient appliances. Go to our website https://bpu.org/resources/rebates/ to find out more information.
Reduce your water heating expenses – Water heating is a major contributor to your total energy consumption. Reduce your water heating expense by using less hot water, turn down the water heating expense by using less hot water, turn down these by using less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, or insulate your waterer heater and the first six feet of hot and cold water pipes.
Maintaining your HVAVAC system – Your heating and cooling system should be checked at least once a year before the beginning of each season. Filters should be replaced every month, beginning of each season. Filters should be replaced every month. Filters should be replaced every month, unless you have the permanent type filters.
Install energy efficient windows – Windows are a significant source of energy waste, which a significant source of energy waste, which can amount up to 30% of your total heating bill. To prevent heat loss through your windows, you can cut total heating bill. To prevent heat loss through your windows, you can event heat loss through your windows, you can replace single-pane windows with double-pane windows.
Weatherize your home – Weatherizing or sealing air leaks around your home is a great way to reduce your heating and cooling costs. The most common sources of air leaks into your home are vents, windows, and doors. To prevent these leaks, you should ensure that there are no cracks or openings between the wall and vent, window, or doorframe. There are weather winterizing kits that you can purchase to help with this project.
Insulate your home – Insulation plays a key role in lowering your utility bills through retaining heat during the winter and keeping heat out of your home during the summer. The recommended level of heat resistance or “RR-Value” for Minnesota is 49.
Having an undetected water leak in your home can cost you aa much higher water and wastewater bill and can also cause damage to your home. Below are some ideas where to look for a leak in your home.
Leaking Toilets – Toilet leaks can waste hundreds of gallons of water and often times are silent. Even a small leak can add up to a lot of wasted water and money over time. Fortunately, most toilet leaks are easy and inexpensive to repair.
To help determine if you have a leaking toilet, simply remove the tank lid and place a few drops of food coloring in back of the toilet tank. (Brainerd Public Utilities can also provide you with dye tabs to use). Wait about 30 minutes, without flushing, and then look in the toilet bowl to see if any of the color has come through. If the water is clear, there is no water leak. If you see colored water in the bowl, you have a water leak.
Flapper Valve Leaks – In most cases, you will simply just need to replace the toilet flapper and/or filling mechanism. The flapper is the rubber valve in the bottom of the tank that lifts when the toilet is flushed. These are available at hardware or home center stores and are inexpensive to purchase.
Flush Handle Problems – If the handle needs to be jiggled to keep the toilet from running, g, the flush level bar and chain, or the handle itself, may be sticking. Adjust the nut that secures it in the toilet tank. If that does not work, the handle may have to be replaced.
Overflow Tube Leaks – Ideally the water level should be set so that it is even with the fill line on the back of the toilet tank (approximately ½” below the overflow tube). If the water level is too high, and spilling into the overflow tube, the water level can by adjusted by turning the adjustment screw or gently bend the float arm, so the water shuts off below overflow tube.
Leaking Faucets – Leaking faucets are generally a result of aa worn rubber washer. The washer on a faucet is usually located under the handle. These are relatively easy to replace if you have the right tools.
Other Water Leaks
• If you have a water softener, and the regeneration process does not shut off and softener continues to cycle.
• Pipes can break or get holes on an outside irrigation system. You should also notice water pooling in the yard.
• Outside faucets that are cracked or are left on without you realizing it.