Northland Arboretum is committed to being a leader and educator in the stewardship of nature, natural resources and promoter of intelligent conservation.
Northland Arboretum installed a 9.87kilowatt solar array and replacing the fluorescent lighting with induction lighting, which greatly reduces the amount of energy we are using at the Visitor Center. Induction lighting technology is now emerging as the best choice for energy efficient lighting in North America.
For more information on this visit these links:
- Arboretum Solar Dashboard (real time energy production, graphs and stats)
ENERGY CONSERVATION GUIDE
Warm Weather Tips
1. Raise your thermostat 4° or more when you leave your home for several hours or more. And simply return it to its normal setting when you return. Drastically lowering the thermostat will not cool your home faster, it will only make your system work harder and run longer.
2. Use fans to move the air. This will make you feel cooler and allow you to raise the setting on your thermostat.
3. Don’t run heat-producing appliances during the hottest part of the day.
4. If you have drapes or shades, close them during the day to keep out the heat and open them at night to let heat escape through the glass. Solar shades or screens are a cost-effective method to reduce the heat from sunlight coming in through your windows.
5. Plant trees or shrubs that shade air conditioning units but don’t block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10 percent less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
6. If possible, locate window AC units on the north or shady side of your home. Direct sunlight falling on the unit will make it work harder.
Cold Weather Tips
1. For maximum efficiency set your thermostat at 68° or lower if comfort allows.
2. Selectively open and close drapes and blinds during the day to maximize heat gain from the sun. Close them at night to keep the warm air inside.
A typical large screen TV uses approximately 26 kilowatts of electricity each month to operate.
|Appliance||kWh used per month|
|Central air unit (2.5 tons)||848*|
|Water heater (electric)||290|
|Freezer (auto defrost)||82.5|
|Refrigerator-freezer (auto defrost)||67|
|Standard large screen TV||26|
|High-definition large screen TV||38|
In the chart, you will find average monthly kWh use amounts for a variety of appliances and equipment. Your actual use will depend on your individual usage habits and age and type of equipment.
*Average usage May-October. The kWh figures are estimates based on a family of three living in a 1,500 sq. ft. home.
Use this formula to estimate your
appliances’ energy use:
Wattage x Hours Used Per Day ÷ 1,000 = Daily
Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption (1kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts)
Multiply this by the number of days you use the appliance during the year for the annual consumption.
You can then calculate the annual cost to run an appliance by multiplying the kWh per year by your local utility’s rate per kWh consumed.
Note: You can usually find the wattage of most appliances stamped on the bottom or back of the appliance or on its nameplate.
To estimate the number of hours a refrigerator actually operates at its maximum wattage, divide the total time the refrigerator is plugged in by three. Refrigerators although turned “on” all the time, actually cycle on and off as needed to maintain interior temperatures.
I n s u l a t i o n
Proper insulation helps keep your house cool in summer and warm in winter.
Experts recommend at least R-30 (about 9.5 inches) insulation for our part of the
country, increasing your attic insulation can reduce energy used to heat and cool your home by up to 10 percent.
P r o g r a mma b l e T h e r mo s t a t s
Programmable thermostats can reduce energy use by automatically raising or lowering the temperature in your home when it’s vacant. They are inexpensive and easy to install. For each degree you raise or lower your thermostat from the recommended setting for each season, you can save up to 3 percent on your heating or cooling expense.
Wa t e r h e a t i n g
Set your water heater’s thermostat at the lowest temperature that meets your needs.
Experts recommend 120°. Wrapping your electric water heater in an insulating blanket will also save energy used to keep the water warm in the tank.
A i r l e a k s
Eliminate air leaks by caulking around windows and doorframes and install weather stripping around exterior doors.
Check for air leaks where pipes enter your home from the outside and fill with expanding spray foam. Eliminating air leaks can save you as much as 10 to 20 percent on your heating and cooling costs.
R e f r i g e r a t i o n
Clean condenser coils at least once a year and replace worn door gaskets to ensure a tight fit for efficient operation. Don’t place refrigerators or freezers in garages, carports, and other places that are not air conditioned. This puts strain on the motors and causes them to run continuously.
L i g h t i n g
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFBs) use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer. Use CFBs in your most frequently used lights to reduce your lighting costs.
E l e c t r o n i c s
Computers, printers and attached devices are not big energy users. However, if left on for long periods of time, energy use can add up. In the average home, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to stop all power to the appliance.
S w i m mi n g p o o l s
Placing a timer on your pool pump can reduce energy use. Check with a professional to determine the amount of pump time needed for your size and type of pool. Keep your pool filtration system clean. A dirty system will cause the motor to run longer and at higher back pressures in the pump, consuming more energy.
F i l t e r s a n d l i n t t r a p s
Change or clean the filters in your home’s air returns monthly. This also applies to window AC units. And clean your dryers lint trap after each load. Clogged filters and lint traps can dramatically affect efficiently of the appliance.
F i l l i t u p
Run dishwashers, clothes, washers and dryers only when loads are full to maximize energy use.
T r e e s
Properly positioned trees can save up to 25 percent of a household’s energy use for heating and cooling, according to the U.S.
Department of Energy. In fact, the correct placement of only three trees will save an average household $100-$250 in energy costs in a single year.