Simple ways to saving energy at your home:

COOLING
  • Clean the outside condenser at least once a year preferably in the spring. This can easily be done by spraying it down with a hose with the nozzle on high stream. A clean condenser can increase the efficiency of your cooling system and save on your utility bill.
  • Install an Energy Star ® temperature settings when you are away from the home and at night.
  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit or above while in the home.

    Thermostat Settings Can Make a Difference
    Summer Time Settings and projected saving to your utility bill

    % Savings Temperature
    12% Less 80°
    6% Less 79°
    Recommended 78°
    6% More 77°
    12% More 76°
    18% More 75°
    24% More 74°
    30% More 73°
    36% More 72°

    * The percent changes are approximate and apply only
    to your air conditioning costs not the total bill.

  • Set your thermostat at 80 degrees Fahrenheit or above during the night or when you are away from the home.
  • Install overhead fans wherever possible.
  • Use smaller fans in areas you can not install overhead fans.
  • Replace your air filter at least every month, especially during the heavy summer usage months.
  • Have your evaporator coil cleaned at least every three years. A clean evaporator coil can increase the efficiency of your cooling system and help you save on your utility bill.
  • Have a qualified HVAC technician check your system every two years. Either to low or too high pressure can cause your system to over work and reduces the overall efficiency level.
  • Inspect your duct system for leaks and seal them wherever possible. If you can’t do it yourself, have a qualified HVAC technician do it for you. Air leaks in your duct system can cause up to a 30% loss of cool air being delivered to where it should be going.

HEATING
  • Replace or clean furnace, air conditioner and heat pump filters every month.
  • Turn your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit or lower when you heat your home.
  • Turn your heat off or to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night when you go to bed or when you are not at home.
  • Keep drapes and shades closed at night in winter and open them during the day to let the sunshine in to help warm your home.
  • If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed when your’re not using it, and use a glass door to minimize the amount of heat that escapes up the chimney.
  • Make sure all windows and doors are shut tightly when the heat is on.
  • Install a programmable thermostat to automatically control your central heating system.

LIGHTING
  • Turn off lights that are not needed and in rooms not in use.
  • Use timers or light sensors so security lights are on only when you want them to be lit.
  • Install motion sensors in places you might often forget to turn the light off yourself.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with new energy efficient Energy Star compact fluorescent lamps. Some models are safe to use on dimmers and with electronic controls ( Check manufacturer’s label for rating information).
  • Dust your light bulbs and clean the fixture covers to get the most light out of your fixtures.

WATER HEATING, WASHING AND DRYING
  • Put an insulating blanket on your water heater.
  • Clean dryer lint filter after each load.
  • Wash only full loads of clothes
  • Set your water heater thermostat at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Do laundry and other energy intensive chores in the morning hours or late at night when overall energy usage is lower.
  • Wash only full loads in your dishwasher.
  • Don’t use Rinse-Hold setting on your dishwasher. It wastes 3 to 7 gallons of hot water. Do use Air dry setting and other power-saving features on your dishwasher.
  • When purchasing a new clothes washer, consider Energy Starr models that save energy and water. Most use 30% – 50% less water and 50% less energy per load.
  • If the clothes washer has a water level selection, use the lowest practical level. Use cold water rinse for all loads.
  • Use a cold water detergent and try using the cold water washing cycle. It does make colors last longer.
  • Repair leaking or dripping hot and cold water faucets.
  • Install efficient shower heads that use 2.5 gallons per minute or less.
  • Turn off the water heater at your breaker if you know you are going to be away for awhile. Consider a timer that turns the heater off at night.

COOKING
  • If you can plan it out properly, cook more than one item at a time in your oven.
  • For warming foods, use your microwave in place of your range or oven.
  • Preheat your oven only 5 to 8 minutes when baking. Use a timer to reduce the number of times you open the oven door during baking.
  • Use flat-bottom pans for best contact with the heat. Use tight fitting lids to keep the steam in the pan.

REFRIGATION, FREEZING
  • Keep the temperature setting inside your refrigerator at 38 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit“also, keep your freezer full, it will run more efficiently and cycle less often.
  • Clean refrigerator and freezer coil with a brush or vacuum cleaner at least once every 6 months. You may need to pull them away from the back wall to clean both the front and back side of the coils.
  • Defrost your freezer when ice or frost builds up to ¼ inch or more.
  • Check your refrigerator and freezer door gaskets from time to time for signs of deterioration, and replace them when necessary.

WINDOWS
  • Install window film to reduce heat loss/ gain.
  • Caulk or weather-strip around the window sills.
  • During the summer months close drapes or blinds facing the West while the sun is streaming in.
  • When replacing windows, choose a double-pane, solar-control low-E, argon gas-filled, wood or vinyl frame window.

INSULATION
  • You should add insulation to your attic if you do not have a R-36 rating or better. The list shown gives the insulation R-Values per inch of material used
    Type Avg R-value/inch # inches for R-36 Rating
    Fiberglass Batts 3.7 R-value/inch 9.8”
    Loose Fiberglass 3.1 R-value/inch 11.6”
    Loose Rock Wool 3.1 R-value/inch 11.6”
    Cellulose 3.4 R-value/inch 10.6”
    Extruded Expanded Polystyrene 3.7 R-value/inch 9.8”
    Molded expanded Polystyrene 3.7 R-value/inch 9.8”
    Polyurethane spray foam 3.6 R-value/inch 10.0”
    Phenolic spray foam 5.9 R-value/inch 6.1”

    If you know what kind of insulation you have in your attic, you can simply take a ruler and measure the thickness.

  • Consider adding a radiant barrier to stop the radiant heat from penetrating your roof.
  • Find and fix and convection loops that might be in your attic space. Convection loops are open exposures that let heat travel down your walls from the hot attic space to lower cooler areas in your home. Heat always flows from hot to cold areas.

BIGGER PROJECTS
  • Replace aging (10 or more years old) and inefficient appliances with high-efficiency “Energy Star” labeled models. For a dishwasher this can save 154 kWh/year, for a refrigerator, the savings can be 353 kWh/year, and for a washing machine, the savings can be up to 538 kWh/year.
  • Improve your entire home’s insulation.
  • Replace furnace with more efficient model.
  • Purchase solar panels and solar water heating system.
  • Use passive solar design in building a new home.
  • Purchase micro wind turbines.