Here are some things we can all do to save energy all year around!
- Lower your thermostat from 72°F to 68°F for eight hours a day, and you’ll save as much as 10% on energy costs. Every degree you lower your thermostat could save you about 3% on your heating bill.
- Winterize windows with weather stripping (for all moveable joints) and caulk (for nonmoving parts). Also, use a window kit to insulate the inside of your windows to keep cold air out and warm air in.
- Change your heating system filter once a month.
- Keep baseboards and vents clear of rugs and furniture.
- Make sure you reverse the direction of ceiling fans so they move warm air down. Otherwise, the fans will create a wind-chill effect.
- Avoid using your stove, oven, dishwasher or clothes dryer during the warmest periods of the day. Your a/c system will have to work harder to keep your home cool.
- Fill your dishwasher completely before running it. In the summer, a dishwasher can add humidity to the air, so your air conditioning system will need to work harder to maintain a cool temperature.
- Clean the outdoor coils on your cooling system as often as necessary (i.e., when dirt is visible on the outside of the coil).
- Clean the a/c evaporator coil and condensate pan every year.
- Clean the blower fan blades.
- Clean supply and return registers and straighten their fins.
- Plant shade trees around your outdoor a/c unit. A unit sitting in the sun can use significantly more energy to cool your home than one in the shade.
- Install ceiling fans. They use far less energy than air conditioners and allow you to feel cool while keeping your thermostat set higher.
All Year Around
- Heating water is the third-highest energy expense in most homes. If the temperature setting of your water heater is at 140°F, turn it down to 130°F. You’ll save a few dollars each month.
- Cooking meals with a microwave oven uses about half the energy of a conventional oven.
- Washing clothes in cold water instead of hot water can save you about $50 a year.
- Here’s another energy saver in the laundry room. Put a large dry bath towel in the dryer with each load of wet clothes. The towel will absorb dampness and reduce drying time by up to 33%, saving energy and money.
- If you have a crawl space, inspect it regularly to be sure that the insulation inside is dry. When insulation gets wet, its effectiveness is significantly reduced. Find the source of the moisture and replace any damaged insulation.
- Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator every year. The dirt buildup makes the refrigerator work harder to keep the contents cool and therefore uses more energy.
- Check for open fireplace dampers.
- In cold climates, double-pane windows with a low-emissive glass coating can reduce heating bills by 34% compared with uncoated, single-pane windows.
- When adjusting a thermostat manually, remember that the house will not warm up or cool down faster if you set the thermostat past the desired temperature.
- Consider landscaping your home for energy conservation. For instance, plant evergreen trees on the north side and deciduous (leafy) trees on the south side to block winter winds and the summer sun.
- Make sure your attic is well insulated. This step alone can save you 20%-35% on heating costs and up to 35% on air conditioning costs.
- Install flow-restricting showerheads. You can reduce hot water use by as much as 50% without affecting shower pressure.
- Leave your storm windows on all year long. They provide valuable year-round insulation. Storm windows can create substantial fuel savings.
- Windows should have ample coverings to provide shade from warm sunlight in summer months. Draperies can provide added insulation in winter.
- Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans wisely; in just one hour these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed or cooled air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done the job.