Contact the Town of Ayden Customer Service at (252) 481-5823.
The Energy Department will come to customer's home free of charge and find ways to reduce energy consumption and increase conservation.
Do It Yourself Tips
- Use space heaters sparingly.
- Keep your thermostat not higher than 68 degrees in the winter and no lower than 78 degrees in the summer. Each additional degree adds about three percent to your energy costs.
- To keep air circulating freely, check filters at least every month and change them when needed. Also, clean dust and lint from air outlets. Use permanent sealant (like mastic) to seal leaky supply and return ducts. Install duct insulation and cover with a vapor barrier.
- If you use a window air conditioner, seal all cracks and open areas around the unit. During the winter, remove the unit from the window. Before the summer, clean or replace filter and then check regularly.
- If you have an old furnace or air conditioning system that needs replacing, a new, high efficiency heat pump can cut your heating and cooling costs by 25 to 50 percent.
- If you’re going away for a few days, lower the thermostat, but don’t turn the heat off. A cold snap could freeze your pipes.
- If you have a heat pump, it will operate most efficiently if you set your thermostat and leave it.
- Use fans instead of, or in addition to, air conditioning.
- Weather-strip your doors, caulk cracks in the door frames, and replace worn or ill-fitting thresholds.
- Install storm doors and windows or plastic kits. Weather-strip loose-fitting windows and close shades or draperies at night to reduce heat loss.
- Replace broken or cracked window panes, and caulk cracks around window framing.
- Fully insulating your house can save as much as 55 percent on your heating and cooling bills. Be certain to pay attention to the most common areas of air leaks, such as windows and doors, outlets and light switches on exterior walls, mail chutes, fireplaces, ducts and pipes, attics and basements.
- If your attic insulation is less than R-19, add more insulation (without a vapor barrier) or blown insulation. Floors over crawl spaces should be insulated with at least 3 inches of batts (R-11) with vapor barrier side towards the heated area. Ground areas should be covered with a 6 mil. plastic vapor barrier.
- Use smaller appliances, like a microwave or toaster oven, instead of your full size oven, when you can. When you do use your regular range, bake several items at once, and use pots and pans with flat bottoms and tight fitting lids.
- If your freezer is not frost-free, defrost frequently. Clean the condenser once a year. Make sure the sealing gaskets don’t become brittle. And don’t open the door more often than necessary.
- When running your dishwasher, use the energy saving cycle and run only when full.
- Underloading, overloading, or over-drying clothes reduces your dryer’s efficiency. Clean the lint filter after each use. Better still: dry your clothes outside in nice weather.
- When it’s time to buy new appliances, but the most energy-efficient models.
- Turn off the lights when you leave the room. If you want a brighter room, use a higher-wattage bulb rater than more lower wattage bulbs.
- Consider Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). CFLs use a fraction of the energy of traditional incandescent light bulbs and last up to ten times as. CFLs are available in home improvement stores in the lighting section.
- Keep lamps and fixtures clean. You may save as much as 20 percent on lighting costs.
- Take advantage of the windows throughout your home and use natural light whenever possible.
- Lower the setting of your water heater to 120 degrees, especially during the summer months.
- Fix leaky faucets immediately. Don’t leave the water running when you are shaving or washing dishes.
- Wash and rinse your laundry in cold water.
- Take short showers instead of baths and install low flow shower heads.
- For central air conditioning systems, keep the fan switch on your thermostat in the “auto” position when cooling. This gives you better cooling and humidity control. Having the fan switch “on” continuously could costs an extra $25 a month on your electric bill.
- Set the thermostat a little higher. Most people can be comfortable with a setting of 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit, plus you’ll save up to 7 percent of your cooling costs for each degree above 78.
- Use a ceiling fan or portable fan to supplement your air conditioning. A fan can make you feel three to four degrees cooler (and only costs a half-cent per hour to operate) so you can set your thermostat a few degrees higher and save on cooling costs.
- When you leave home, turn off the ceiling fans and set the thermostat up a few degrees.
- Clean or change your filters monthly. Dirty filters can increase operating costs by 20 percent. Don’t block registers and vents with furniture or drapes.
- Close blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day. This keeps the sun’s rays from heating your home.
- Use your microwave oven to cook food. Microwaves use less than one-half the power of conventional ovens and they don’t heat up your kitchen.
- Caulk, seal and weather strip all openings from your home to the outside. Eliminating air leaks in your home can save you up to 10 percent in energy costs.