- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when replacing large or small appliances
- Use power strips for home electronics and turn off power strips when equipment is not in use
- Use low-watt bulbs where lighting is not critical
- Place floor lamps and hanging lamps in corners. The reflection off the walls will give you more light
- Turn off outdoor lighting during the day. Try timer switches or photoelectric controls if the finger method is a bother
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents – they use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer
- Turn off lights, televisions and other appliances when not in use
- Tune-up your heating and cooling system annually to keep it running as efficiently as possible
- Use the microwave when possible – it cooks faster and doesn’t create as much heat as a stove burner
Leaking water is money down the drain. Plus minimizing water use is good for the environment and the future of our planet.
- Repair leaky faucets promptly. A leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time. A small leak that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes wastes 3,280 gallons of water a year. If it's hot water, you're wasting energy as well.
- Install low-flow faucets and showerheads. Older showerheads send up to 3-5 gallons per minute down your drain. New, easy-to-install conservation models provide a satisfying shower using only 2.5 gallons per minute or less.
- Take a shower. Showers generally use less hot water than a tub bath.
- Turn off the tap. Don't let the tap water run unnecessarily while you wash or shave.
When your heating equipment works at peak efficiency, you reap the benefits in comfort and savings. Proper maintenance of your system is key for performance. And if you're ready to replace your current equipment, high-efficiency models really pay off.
- Get a heating system tune-up. A heating and cooling professional can perform an annual inspection and routine system maintenance to make sure your furnace is operating at peak performance.
- Replace furnace filters every month. A dirty or clogged filter will demand more energy and slow down the heating process. Change your furnace filter every month, especially if you have pets. Make sure your furnace and hot water heater are properly ventilated.
- Allow heat to circulate. Once you have your furnace operating at peak performance, go through your home to be sure that heat is circulating properly. Prevent furniture, draperies and rugs from obstructing registers and heat vents. Keep radiators and registers dust-free.
- Install an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat. This type of thermostat will automatically change settings at certain times of day.
Water heating is a typical family's third-largest energy expense, accounting for about 14 percent of utility bills. Take these simple steps to cut costs without sacrificing comfort.
- Reduce the temperature. Lower your hot water temperature by setting the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Insulate hot water pipes. Insulating hot water pipes from the water heater to the source is another way to conserve.
- Replace your old water heater. A new high-efficiency model will help save energy dollars.
Dishwashers can consume less energy than washing by hand when used appropriately.
- Wash with full loads. Dishwashers use approximately 15 gallons of hot water per use. That's why you should always wash a full load of dishes. Washing dishes by hand could use as much as 20 gallons.
- Let dishes air-dry. If you do not have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and open the door a little so that dishes dry faster.
- Replace an older model dishwasher. Upgrade to a new ENERGY STAR rated model.
When you're looking to take a load off your energy bill, modifying when and how you use your clothes dryer can score you some additional savings.
- Clean the lint trap. Be sure to clean the trap after every use.
- Line-dry your clothes. Use the dryer for just a few minutes to soften line-dried clothes.
- Avoid over drying clothes. It wastes energy, causes shrinkage and shortens the life of the clothes.
- Run consecutive loads. This is a way to take advantage of accumulated heat.
- Vent your clothes dryer to the outside. This prevents buildup of excessive moisture in the laundry room, as well as the rest of the house.
Now that you're on an energy diet, consider these easy energy-saving food-preparation tips that might even reduce your time in the kitchen.
- Avoid preheating. Don't preheat your natural gas oven unless the recipe specifically requires it.
- Keep the oven door closed. Don't open the oven door while food is cooking. You can lose up to 50 degrees in temperature and waste energy.
- Plan ahead. Cook several meals at the same time.
- Adjust the gas flame to fit your pans. The flame should never come up around the sides of a pan.
- Keep the lid on. Keeping lids on your pots will make the water boil faster.
Programmable Thermostat Settings
You can use the table below as a starting point for setting energy-saving temperatures, and then adjust the settings to fit your family’s schedule and stay comfortable.
|Setpoint Temperature (Hot)
|Setpoint Temperature (Cold)
|Setback at least 8°F
|Setup at least 7°F
|Setback at least 8°F
|Setup at least 4°F