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Earth Day Network Celebrates With Partnership Introducing New Free Energy Saving Tips App

The Earth Day Network has launched a new web app designed to provide energy saving tips for around the home – ranging from ideas that cost nothing, such as cleaning your dryer’s lint trap after every load for faster drying with less energy, to the most pricy ideas like upgrading to a more efficient dishwasher.

The new app – the Earth Day Network EnergyCenter – was developed in partnership with the personal energy management platform WattzOn. The app provides a lot of services including: free educational material on how to save energy, tracking tools that allow you to see how much energy your home is using, tips on improving car efficiency, and rebate and tax credit information for energy saving upgrades to your home with direct links to state and federal sites, including the Internal Revenue Service for more details.

The new app has a lot of home energy saving tips that can be done for free, including the following:

  • Cleaning the Lint Trap

If you don’t clean your lint trap after every load, enough air doesn’t get in to quickly dry your clothes and it takes longer, using more energy

  • Cleaning the Dryer Vent

If your clothes take more than an hour to dry, check the external exhaust vent on your dryer (not the lint trap). It could be full of lint, particularly if there are bends in the tubing, leading to less airflow, slower drying time, and more energy use.

The vent can clog even if you clean the lint screen every time, so it’s important to check it every now and then. To clean the vent, simply vacuum it out. This will consequently increase airflow, drying time, and reduce energy use.

  • Lowering the Water Heater Temperature

Often manufactures set the water heater temperature to 140 °F, which is hot enough to scald a person, as well as corrode the pipes. The Earth Day Network suggests lowering your water heater temperature to 120 °F, and check the hottest temperature with a thermometer.

The lower temperature will be safer, just as effective, and require less energy to produce.

  • Blocking the Sun Early in the Day

Direct sunlight coming in through the windows during the summer can really heat up your home, and the simple act of closing your drapes or shades can make a really big cooling difference.

Closing the drapes before the sun hits your windows (early in the morning to mid-day) can save you a lot on cooling costs. It’s also a good idea open them back up once the direct sunlight has passed, and use the natural light instead of lamps and other lights for even more savings.

  • Unplugging Electronics were Possible

Take a walk through your home and check out your electronics. If you bought something before 2008 and don’t use it frequently, unplug it. Keep an eye out for power cords with the black box attached and old appliances. The Earth Day Network suggests that unplugging these devices can lighten your electricity load and really reduce your power bill.

  • Closing the Fireplace Damper

Even when you’re not using your fireplace, a lot of warm or cold air can escape through the chimney. Closing off your chimney by using the fireplace damper (the small door built into the chimney) is a good way to lower your energy bills.

  • Clearing Your Air Vents

Furniture, curtains, and other obstructions by registers and vents can cause your furnace and air conditioner to work harder to cool your home. The Earth Day Network suggests that to keep costs down, make sure that all your vents (or at least the ones in the room with the thermostat) are clear of clutter and obstructions.

Another of my favorite parts of the web app is the rebate and tax credit center. It provides the basic information about each rebate and tax credit, including what the requirements are and how much the return benefits are.

The rebates cover areas including: appliances and electronic, heating and cooling windows, lighting, and photovoltaic systems.

As an example, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is offering an up to $1,000 rebate on central air conditioning, and Con Edison is offering an up to $400 rebate on a central air conditioning system. Con Edison is also offering a $300 air sealing rebate and a $300 duct sealing rebate.

Also featured on the app are several 30% federal tax credits with links to the IRS, including for geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, photovoltaic systems, and small wind turbines.

There’s a lot more on the app worth looking at, and it’s free to register and use, so I recommend it.

Reader comments and input are always welcomed!

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