Energy-saving myths and tips for winter

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Chances are you've probably already turned on your heater during the cool mornings and nights. But if you're considering any energy-saving devices this winter, Mike Donley of Donley Service Center has some tips.

Energy-saving myths

1. Vampire power myth - savings not significant (all your devices plugged in might pull power equal to one 60-watt light bulb).

2. Newer water heaters don't need a blanket. 2006 energy standards improved the insulation in tanks to make blankets unnecessary.

3. Covering vents in a vacant room isn't a good idea. More strain on heater and creates a cold space in the home that negatively affects other rooms.

4. Filter whistle mixed reviews. Use you utility bill as a reminder to check your filter.

Energy-saving ideas

1. Eco-optimized shower head. Reduces water usage and shuts off when the warm water begins to flow, so you don't lose hot water.

2. Water heater timers - not for everyone, but those on a regular schedule or on a time-of-use electric billing cycle can save money.

3. Change filter when dirty (at least every other month in winter).

4. Turn thermostat down (save 2-3 percent on heating cost for every degree you can lower the setting).

5. Make sure your fireplace damper is closed when not in use.

6. Use vent fans in kitchen and bathroom sparingly.

7. Use clothes dryer during the warmest part of the day.