Home Energy Savings Podcast Transcript


Welcome to the Informed Consumer-the latest tips and tools about consumer issues to assist consumers in making informed decisions from the Fairfax County Consumer Affairs Branch.

Today’s topic: Energy Saving Tips for You in Your Home.

With energy prices rising, a good tool to save money on your home energy bill is to do a home energy audit yourself. With a simple diligent walk-through, you can spot many problems in any type of house. When auditing your home, keep a checklist of the areas inspected and the problems found.

The following energy saving tips will help you prioritize your energy efficiency upgrades. 

Start with Heating and Cooling:

  • Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter, and as high as is comfortable in the summer.
  • Clean and replace filters regularly.
  • Keep your registers free of obstructions.
  • Close drapes, blinds, and shades over large windows and glass doors to form a barrier against heat loss during the winter and heat gain during the summer.
  • Consider installing energy-efficient ceiling fans to move cooled air at lower cost, and
  • Maintain professional maintenance to help maximize efficiency and product life. 

Take a Look at Your Lighting and Electronics:

  • Remember to turn off your lights when leaving a room.
  • Switch to EnergyStar Compact Fluorescent Lamps or CFLs, which use up to 75% less energy. CFLs provide the greatest savings in fixtures that are left on for long periods each day.
  • Avoid “phantom loads” associated with electronics and power adapters that continue to draw power even when they appear off. Unplug battery chargers or power adaptors when not in use, or use a power strip and use the switch on that power strip to cut all power to the charger or adapter.  Turn on and activate power management features on computers and laptops.

  Take a walk through your Kitchen and Laundry Room :

  • Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight.
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator – uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Avoid using the “rinse hold” feature on your dishwasher for just a few soiled dishes:  It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
  • Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.

Minimize Air Loss:

  • Apply caulking around door frames and weather-stripping around doors that do not close tightly.
  • Seal holes around outlets with an inexpensive outlet gasket.
  • Install door sweeps on your doors to seal the gap between the bottom of the door and the threshold.
  • If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed except when you’re enjoying a fire.

When Buying New Appliances and Equipment:

  • Select properly-sized EnergyStar appliances and electronics when possible.
  • Compare efficiency ratings when it’s time to replace heating and cooling equipment.

For Furnaces:  look for high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE ratings.

And for Air conditioners:  look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER.

To learn more about saving energy, the Federal Trade Commission offers a wide variety of business and consumer information online at www.ftc.gov or by calling the toll-free helpline at 1-877-382-4357 or  TTY 1-866-653-4261

Thanks for listening to the Consumer Affairs Branch Informed Consumer. For more information on this topic or if you feel that you’ve been a victim of a scam, please contact us at 703-222-8435 or visit our web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/consumer. Informed Consumer is produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia, government.



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