Reducing energy use results in lower energy bills. And it doesn't require a major investment of money - or time. Try the low-cost or no-cost energy-saving tips below and begin saving money today.
For more energy-saving information, check with your local energy supplier.
Heating and Cooling
- Unless a health situation doesn't permit it, keep your heating thermostat comfortably low (65° F to 68° F) when you're at home during the day. Turn down your thermostat (55° F to 58° F) when you leave the house for more than a few hours and when you go to bed at night.
- In the summer, set your thermostat at 78° F or higher.
- Check air filters regularly and replace or clean them when dirty. Replacing a dirty air filter can save money by reducing the amount of time your furnace or air conditioner stays on.
- Make sure furniture is not blocking heating and cooling vents.
- Close doors and vents in rooms that you're not using.
- If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed when the fireplace is not in use.
- Remove window air conditioning units in the winter. If you can't, cover the unit with plastic to stop drafts.
- Use kitchen and bathroom fans only as long as necessary. In addition to moisture and odors, they draw out heated or cooled air.
- On sunny winter days, open the curtains to let the warmth of the sunshine in.
- At night, pull the curtains to stop heat being lost through the windows.
- In the summer, close the curtains on sun-exposed windows.
- Make sure curtains don't block heating and cooling vents or that they're not too close to space heaters.
- Turn the water heater thermostat to no more than 120° F.
- If possible, take a short shower instead of a tub bath. You'll use less water.
- Repair a dripping faucet. In just one day, you could waste enough hot water to fill a bathtub.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room for long periods.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. They last longer than ordinary incandescent bulbs, and they use much less energy.
Refrigerator and Freezer
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer as full as possible, even if you simply put in empty packages or containers. A full refrigerator or freezer uses less energy.
- Defrost the freezer regularly to keep it running efficiently.
- Where possible, position your refrigerator and freezer away from your range.
Washing Machine and Clothes Dryer
- Wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine or clothes dryer.
- Use a lower temperature to wash clothes. Modern washing powders work just as well at low temperatures.
- Clean the lint filter on your dryer after each use.
- Wait until you have a full load before using the dishwasher.
- Use the low-temperature setting unless your dishes are very dirty.
- Use the "energy saver" switch on your dishwasher. This usually shuts off the drying element, which greatly reduces the amount of energy used.
- Use the right size pan for the food and the burner.
- Keep saucepan lids on when cooking.
- Don't use more water than you need.
- Preheat the oven only if the recipe calls for it.
- Use smaller kitchen appliances. Microwaves, toaster ovens, and slow cookers can use much less energy than a large electric oven.
Windows and Doors
- Weatherize windows and doors with caulking and weatherstripping.
- Make low-cost but effective "storm windows" by placing plastic over windows.
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