ENERGY SAVING TIPS
Spring and summer strategies can help you save energy when the weather is warm and you are trying to keep your home cool. Some tips are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the summer.
- USE YOUR WINDOWS TO GAIN COOL AIR AND KEEP OUT HEAT: When the outside temperatures drop at night, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
- OPERATE YOUR THERMOSTAT EFFICIENTLY: Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting to 78°F only when you are at home and need cooling. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set your temperature.
- USE FANS AND VENTILATION STRATEGIES TO COOL YOUR HOME: If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. Learn more about using a ceiling fan to increase cooling efficiency, or find EnergyStar ceiling fan options.
- KEEP YOUR COOLING SYSTEM RUNNING EFFICIENTLY: Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment.
- DON’T HEAT UP YOUR HOME WITH APPLIANCES AND LIGHTING: On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove top, or use a microwave oven or grill outside. Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Take advantage of daylight instead of artificial lighting, but avoid direct sunlight. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes; consider air drying both dishes and clothing.
- KEEP HOT AIR FROM LEAKING INTO YOUR HOME: Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home. Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes.
- LOWER YOUR WATER HEATING COSTS: Water heating accounts for an average of 18% of the energy consumed in most homes. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands. Find other strategies for energy-efficient water heating.
Fall and winter strategies can help you save energy and money, but still stay comfortable during the cool weather. Some of the tips are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; other are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the winter.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HEAT FROM THE SUN: Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
- COVER DRAFTY WINDOWS: Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing. Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.
- ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE: When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. When you are asleep or out of the house, setting your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours can save about 10% a year on heating bills. A smart programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
- FIND AND SEAL LEAKS: Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Find out how to detect air leaks.
- MAINTAIN YOUR HEATING SYSTEM: Schedule service for your heating system. Furnaces and heat pumps typically need filters replaced or cleaned once a month. Find out more about maintaining furnaces and heat pumps.
- REDUCE HEAT LOSS FROM THE FIREPLACE: Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open as it allows warm air to go right up the chimney. Find our more techniques to improve your fireplace or wood burning appliance’s efficiency. Learn tips for safe and efficient fireplace installation and wood burning.
- LOWER YOUR WATER HEATING COSTS: Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands. Find other strategies for energy-efficient water heating.
- LOWER YOUR HOLIDAY LIGHTING COSTS: Use light-emitting diode or "LED" holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the holidays. Learn about the advantages and potential cost savings of LED holiday light strings and find manufacturers and brands of EnergyStar certified decorative light strings.