Heating & Cooling
More than 50% of energy used in the average home comes from heating and cooling.
- Change or clean your air filter regularly. A dirty filter makes your system work harder and less efficiently.
- Set your thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting in the winter, in the summer set it as high as you can, especially at night or when no one is home. If you can, install a programmable thermostat.
- Use your blinds. In the winter, open your curtains or blinds on south, east and west facing windows during the day to let sunlight and heat in, close them at night to keep it in. In the summer, reverse the process.
- Set ceiling fans to run slowly clockwise during the winter to help circulate warm air. Set them to counter-clockwise in the summer.
- Check your ducts for holes or leaks. Make sure they have proper insulation.
The average household spends 20% of its home energy bill on appliances.
- Do full loads whenever possible in the dryer. Clean the lint trap regularly. Line dry clothes when you can.
- Vacuum refrigerator and freezer coils at least twice a year to remove dust and dirt.
- Don’t keep your freezer and refrigerator too cold. Set the refrigerator between 37 and 40 degrees and the freezer to 5 degrees.
- Turn off any appliances you can. Unplug battery and cell phone chargers when not in use. Plug your TV, stereo, computers and other electronics into power strips and turn off the power strip when they are not in use.
- Use your dishwasher’s air dry feature or simply turn it off and open the door when it is done washing.
Water heating accounts for nearly 25% of the energy consumed in a household.
- Reduce your hot water use. Take showers instead of baths. Install low flow showerheads as well as aerators on sink faucets.
- If your hot water heater has a thermostat, set it at 120 degrees or turn it to the medium or low setting.
- Insulate your hot water heater and the hot water pipes right around it.
- Use shorter cycles on your dishwasher and washing machine.
- Use cold water cycles on your washing machine whenever possible.
Cool air coming into your home during the winter and leaking out during the summer can really bump up a power bill.
- Check around windows, doors, plumbing and ceiling fixtures and anywhere else there is a possible path to the outdoors. Use silicone caulk, weather stripping or spray foam sealant to plug up the cracks.
- Use foam gaskets behind electrical wall outlets and switch plates.
- Close the damper on fireplaces when not in use. It’s an unseen escape hatch for warm air to get out.
Making changes in your lighting is one of the easiest and quickest ways to save energy and money.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). There are now CFLs for almost every kind of lighting application. They last much longer and use much less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- Turn off lights when not needed.
- Use timers and dimmers if possible