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A man is sitting on a window sill next to a window sealing kit.

[Narrator] If your house has windows, chances are your house leaks air, and that's costing you money every month. But you can stop the leak, and it's as easy as buying a kit from your hardware store. The kit comes with instructions, and all you need is a good pair of scissors, measuring tape, a hair dryer,

He picks up a hair dryer as an example.

[Narrator] and the desire to save a little cash. For other energy saving tips, watch all of our videos at bpu.com. BPU: The Power of Community.

A man stands in front of a refrigerator.

[Narrator] Is your fridge running? Better catch it. Okay old joke but if your fridge is running up your electric bill that's not funny. Here's two quick things you can do to save. First make sure your fridge and freezer are set to cool instead of very cold.

He opens the door and adjusts a switch.

[Narrator] On average that saves 5% and still keeps food safe and fresh, then once a month make sure you run your vacuum over the coils and air vents on your fridge. You'll find the coils on the back of your fridge and the air vents down under the door.

He gestures behind the fridge and below it.

[Narrator] It's quick, it's easy, and it keeps your fridge from overworking and costing you too much to run. For more energy saving tips make sure you watch all of our videos at bpu.com.

The video opens to a faucet dripping water into the sink, then shifts to a man standing beside the leaking faucet.

[Narrator] Little drip. No big deal, right? Well, when a faucet drips just 10 drops a minute, that adds up to almost 350 gallons a year and that's just money down the drain. Fixing a leaky faucet is actually pretty easy.

He reaches toward the counter and picks up a package of faucet parts.

[Narrator] Usually, it's just a matter of replacing some washers or springs inside the faucet handles. You can get a kit with all the parts that you need for a few bucks at your hardware store and you can get advice on how to do the work there too. Plus, there are dozens of handy example videos online. It's a pretty simple do-it-yourself way to save money, and save water. It's good for your pocketbook and it's good for Kansas City, Kansas. That's the power of community. For other energy saving tips, make sure you watch all of our videos at bpu.com.

A man closes the front door of a home.

[Narrator] We probably open and close a hundred doors a day. But we really don't spend too much time thinking about 'em. I mean, they're just doors right? But if they're leaking air in and out of your house, your doors are costing you money and wasting power. So what do you do? Well first, you check for leaks.

He wipes his hand with a rag and waves it in front of the door.

[Narrator] Wipe the back of your hand with a wet rag then move your hand around the door frame. If you feel a cool breeze, you have a leak. There are several options for fixing leaks. Like this adhesive back felt. It's pretty inexpensive and easy to install. You just remove the old section, cut a new piece to fit,

The man peels off a section of felt tape.

[Narrator] peel off the backing, and place your new weather stripping. Perfect. No more leaks, no more wasted energy. For more energy saving tips, make sure you watch all of our videos at bpu.com.

A man standing behind of a lamp with a CFL bulb in one hand and a standard bulb in the other.

[Narrator] Did you know that you can save almost 100 bucks a year just by switching from old fashioned light bulbs to CFL bulbs? It's true. When you use CFL bulbs, you're helping your family budget. When we all use CFL bulbs, we're helping Wyandotte County.

He screws in the CFL bulb and turns on the lamp before replacing the shade.

[Narrator] And that's the power of community. For more energy saving tips, make sure you watch all of our videos at bpu.com.

A man kneeling by the foundation of a house. He sprays some expanding foam from the can.

[Narrator] See this? It expands. But what's really cool is how it keeps your monthly energy costs from expanding. This sealant foam, that you can find at your hardware store, helps you seal off air leaks in your house. The less leaks, the more you save heating and cooling. Using it is as easy as walking around and looking. If you see a gap, spray the foam around it. Bam. No more leak. Walk around your home. See the leaks, fill the leaks.

The camera zooms in on window wells and the spaces between pipes and bricks outside the house.

[Narrator] Places to look include baseboards, window frames, your outdoor faucets, dryer vents, and voids in your garage. So seal it up and save. For other energy saving tips, make sure you watch all of our videos at bpu.com. BPU: The Power of Community.


A man stands in a basement.

[Narrator] My basement isn't all that scary. But do you know what is? How much money and power we waste because we're not sure what kind of furnace filters to use and how often to change them. Lots of choices like cheap filters like this one

The man holds up a brown filter.

[Narrator] to the more expensive ones like this one.

He holds up a different filter.

[Narrator] Bottom line: they all work. But only if you change them regularly, at least once every three months. If they get clogged, then your heating and air conditioning have to work too hard to get the air through the house. Changing them out is easy.

He pulls a filter from the diagonal slot in the furnace and replaces it with a fresh one.

[Narrator] Just pull out the old one and pop in the new one. Done. Almost. Don't forget to make a note on your calendar three months from today to change it out next time. Save money and energy. That's good for Wyandotte County and that's the power of community. For more energy saving tips make sure to watch all of our videos on bpu.com.

A man shuts a door as he leaves a room and walks down the hall toward two open doors.

[Narrator] One of the easiest ways to save on your monthly heating and cooling bills is to practice what's called zone heating and cooling. All that means is only heat or cool the rooms you're using. Close the vents and doors in empty rooms.

He shuts the two open doors.

[Narrator] Or as my dad used to say, "only heat or cool the furniture you're sitting in." Another easy way to save money and protect the environment. That's the power of community. For other energy saving tips, please make sure to watch all of our videos at bpu.com.

[Narrator] Need two easy ways to save electricity? Right here.

A man standing in the hallway of a home points to a light switch.

[Narrator] Light switches and power outlets. First leave the lights off when you're not in the room. Second seal air leaks to keep hot or cold air from seeping in and out of your home. Gaskets, canned foam, and caulk can be used.

He holds up a gasket, a can of foam, and a tube of caulk in turn.

[Narrator] Just pick the one you like best. It only takes a few minutes to make your home more energy efficient. For more energy efficient tips make sure you watch all of our videos at bpu.com.

A man stands up from his water heater in the basement.

[Narrator] There. I just saved around 10% on my water heating costs and it took me about three seconds and that's all it'll take you, too. Let me show you.

He kneels down to the base of the water heater and turns the dial to 120 degrees.

[Narrator] Just find the thermostat on your hot water heater and turn it to 120 degrees. That's hot enough for you to do anything that you need and it's easier on your hot water heater. That's why it saves money. Changing mine from 150 to 120 degrees saved me 10%. See, you have the power to save right in your own hand. For other energy saving tips, make sure you watch all of our videos at bpu.com. BPU: The Power of Community.

A man standing in the bathroom holding a cellphone to his ear.

[Narrator] Okay I'll see you on Thursday, thanks.

He puts the cellphone back in his pocket after finishing the call.

[Narrator] That was my plumber. He's coming over to fix this leaky toilet. Gonna cost me almost 200 bucks. Ouch. Still no where near as painful as that leak. Did you know a single leaky toilet can cost you about $2000 a year? $2000. Now you can fix most leaky toilets without a plumber's help. You'll save at least $100 on labor, but this time, I'm leaving it to the pros. Besides, even after I pay the plumber, I'm still saving over $1800. Pretty good day in my book. Bottom line: if your toilet's leaking, you're the one getting soaked for $2000 every year. So stop that leak and start saving that money every month. For other energy saving tips make sure you watch all of our videos at bpu.com.

A man stands in the kitchen cooking soup. He wipes his hands on a towel.

[Narrator] Hey, you're just in time. I'm going to share with you my recipe for energy saving soup. It's easy; just cook whatever soup you like best on cold days, so the heat from your stove and oven helps warm the house. Then, freeze that soup and microwave it on hotter days so the house doesn't get so warm.

He wafts the scent of the soup toward his nose and sniffs.

[Narrator] Mmm, smells like savings. For more energy saving tips, watch all of our videos on bpu.com.


 

A man is standing in front of a TV in a living room.

[Narrator] I've got a scary one for you. A true life ghost story about a phantom in your house that's stealing electricity. You see every piece of electronic equipment in your home uses electricity even if you've got it turned off. It's called phantom power usage and it can really add up, but there's a quick and easy fix. Just unplug things like TV's, computers, stereos, DVD players, and washers and dryers when you're leaving your house for an extended period or

The man kneels beside the TV and points to a power strip, flipping the switch to show the simplicity.

[Narrator] even easier plug multiple devices into a power strip like this one. When leaving the house for more than a day just switch the power strip to off. No garlic, no wooden stakes, no more phantoms. For more energy saving tips make sure to watch all of our videos on bpu.com.

 
 

BUYING A NEW HOME? EFFICIENCY, EFFICIENCY, EFFICIENCY.

Remember to look for energy-efficient features. While they may cost more up-front, in the long run they will cost less to own. Look for passive, solar, energy-efficient heating and cooling, tightly sealed ducts, and energy-saving windows.


BUYING NEW APPLIANCES? THE ENERGY SAVINGS WILL SURPRISE YOU.

Replace older appliances and increase your energy savings. A new refrigerator uses just half the energy of a 10-year-old unit. A new washing machine can cut energy use up to 70%. All major appliances except ovens and ranges, come with energy guide labels. Research these labels to compare the energy usage of different models. These labels tell you the typical annual operating cost of the appliance, based on national average energy rates.


WHEN OUT OF TOWN, TURN IT DOWN!

If you’re planning on being away for 24 hours, consider turning your appliances down or off to save energy costs. Turn off air conditioners, heaters, pool and waterbed heaters, fans, lights and small appliances. If you're going away for a longer amount of time, do the above plus turn your water heater off or down per the manufacturer’s instructions. You may also want to purchase a programmable thermostat to automatically regulate your home temperature while you are away at work during the day.


SOMETIMES, IT’S WHAT’S OUTSIDE THAT COUNTS.

Plant a deciduous tree on the south or west side of your home. It will provide cool shade in summer and allow warming sun to reach the house in fall and winter. A carefully planned windbreak can offer protection against cold winds and offer habitat for animals while reducing soil erosion by the wind. Proper tree placement can have more than aesthetic value. Also, consider hand-mowing small lawns and don't over-idle gas mowers to save on operating costs.


OFFICE EQUIPMENT RUNS SILENT, RUNS DEEP.

Deep into your pockets, that is. You can save energy at home and work by turning off computer equipment that won’t be in use for 1+ hours. Enable “sleep” function to power down for shorter periods, and try to use email instead of those paper memos and faxes.


ENERGY-WISE CHILDREN BECOME SAVINGS-SAVVY ADULTS.

Teach your children to be a valuable part of an energy-efficient family by having them turn off lights, TVs, VCRs and computer equipment when they finish using them. Keep a list of snacks on the fridge to limit door openings. Saving energy can be like learning to ride a bike. Once you learn how, you never forget.


DETER DUCT LEAKS.

Leaky ducts reduce heating efficiency. Have a contractor check your crawlspace or attic for damaged, disconnected, or leaky ducts. Remember to repair faulty ducts with mastic sealant and not duct tape!


WEATHERPROOF. KEEP THE GOOD AIR IN AND HIGH COSTS OUT.

Don’t let precious heated or cooled air escape through cracks. Caulk and weather-strip to reduce air leakage. Professional auditors use a device called a smoke pencil to locate leaks, but you can get similar results with an incense stick. On a windy day, hold the lit stick next to your windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures and attic areas, anywhere there is a possible path to the outside. Changes in the smoke column mean cold air can enter and heat can escape. Reducing these drafts can decrease your annual energy cost by as much as 30%.


NEVER SAY, “I DON’T DO WINDOWS.”

Window coverings will help with your heating and cooling utility bills. To keep the hot summer sun out, use awnings, drapes and shades on your south windows. In winter, open drapes and shades on those south windows to let in the natural warmth of the sun but remember to close all window coverings at night to retain that indoor heat. Wrap windows using a plastic sheeting to create a double-pane, and you can save up to 25% on your energy bill.


BABY YOUR WATER HEATER.

Set the water heater to the lowest temperature that provides you with sufficient hot water. If you have an older model, wrap your water heater with a water heater blanket, especially if it is in an unheated area.


THERMOSTAT SETTINGS – EASY DOES IT.

Don’t use it like a gas pedal! Setting the temperature super high won’t heat your home any faster, but it will make your heater run longer. Overheating is a waste of energy. Instead, set your thermostat at a consistent, comfortable temperature.


COOK SMART.

Use the microwave whenever possible; it saves energy. Pre-heat ovens for baking only. Use the oven light to check progress instead of opening the oven door. Turn the oven off before food is done and use retained heat to finish cooking.


DISHWASHING WISDOM.

Wash only full loads and use a short cycle for lightly soiled dishes. Use the energy-saving, no-heat dry feature, or turn the dishwasher off after the final rinse to let dishes air dry and save yourself on energy costs.


COOL REFRIGERATION SAVINGS.

Vacuum refrigerator coils at least twice a year. Open doors only when necessary and use energy-saver mode if so equipped. If you purchase a new refrigerator, remember to recycle the old one.


CLOTHES WASHING – WASH COOL, SAVE BIG.

Use coolest water temperature that will get your clothes clean, considering fabric types and level of soiling. Wash only full loads, and select the correct water level for the load size.


CLOTHES DRYING INSIDE AND OUT.

Dry only full loads. Dry loads one after another to take advantage of heat build-up. Clean lint filter before each load and use automatic cycle to prevent over drying. Better yet, use a clothesline!


BATH SAVINGS – A FULL TUB = EMPTY WALLET.

Remember, showers use much less hot water than baths. If you prefer a bath, fill it only halfway or less. Fix leaks and install energy-saving low-flow shower heads and flow restrictors to save energy and water.


LIGHTING USAGE – GO FLUORESCENT!

Of course, turn lights off when not in use, even if just for a minute. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, which use 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer. Keep lighting fixtures clean for a good light flow.


COOL WITH CARE.

Air conditioning is great at 78 degrees! The use of portable and ceiling fans will keep you cool for less, and in winter can be turned on reverse to move hot air down from the ceiling. If you do use an air conditioner, set it at 78 degrees when you're at home and 85 degrees when you’ll be away for more than 4 hours.


HEATING TIP – TURN DOWN THE HEAT AND TURN UP THE SAVINGS.

Set your heater thermostat at 68 degrees or lower by day, and put on a sweater if you feel chilly. At night, set your thermostat at 55 degrees and cuddle up with extra blankets. Clean or replace your furnace filters regularly to keep your air clean and healthy.


INSULATION. CHECK IT.

Check your insulation! If it meets only minimum requirements, it won't be doing its job. Be sure your insulation is thick enough to be sufficient and add savings to your heating and cooling expenses.

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