Heating and Air Conditioning Tips
Use blinds, curtains, and shades to augment your home’s heating and cooling. During the winter, keep them open during the day to let in heat from the sun. During the summer, keep them closed to keep your home shady and cool.
Use your thermostat to keep temperatures at efficient levels when you’re not home. Setting the temperature to colder in the winter and warmer in the summer will save you significant amounts of money over the year, and since no one is home, you won’t even notice! A programmable thermostat can make this even easier, adjusting the temperature automatically.
Set the fan switch on your thermostat to AUTO instead of ON. The fan will only run when the furnace runs, not all the time.
Turn the thermostat down when using the fireplace. Wood burning fireplaces can draw more heated air out of your home and up the chimney than the fire actually produces. Once the fire has completely died out, close the flue damper to keep warm air in the house.
Seal up gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and siding using caulk and weather stripping. This will keep heated or cooled air inside your home, preventing it from leaking out through cracks.
Use fans all year long. In the summer, run your ceiling fan counter-clockwise to improve airflow and make it feel cooler. During the winter, run the fan clockwise to push the warm air up and then down along the walls, keeping it at ground level where it belongs.
Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
Install dimmer switches on indoor lights and motion sensors on outdoor lights.
Install ENERGY STAR CFL or LED bulbs.
Appliances and Electronics Tips
If your dryer has a moisture sensor, use this instead of the timer to save energy and extend clothing life.
Hang your laundry out to dry instead of using the dryer. In addition to saving energy, this reduces wrinkles, eliminates static cling, and reduces wear on your clothes. As an added bonus, it also takes less time than even high efficiency dryers!
Unplug electronics you’re not using. While many new electronics are better about preventing “vampire energy,” it’s still a good idea to cut it off at the source, especially when you go on vacation.
Water Heater Tips
Check to make sure your water heater is set to 120 F. If not, adjust it.
Only run full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher.
Use cold water for wash and rinse cycles on the washing machine.
Install water-saving faucet aerators and showerheads.