All-Year Conservation Tips
These tips can help save energy in every season.
- Install a digital programmable thermostat. It puts your heating and cooling systems on an automatic schedule: full heat or cooling during hours when the home is active, and less when the house is empty or the family is asleep. The U.S. Department of Energy says that setting back a home's temperature by 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day can reduce total heating and cooling costs by 3 to 5 percent.
- Insulate thoroughly to eliminate heat transfer through your walls, ceilings and floors. You could reduce your heating and cooling costs by as much as 15 percent, according to Consumer Energy Council of America.
- Replace outdated appliances with high-efficiency units to reduce energy consumption.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which use only 25 percent as much energy and last 10 times as long.
- Reduce water heater temperature setting to 120°F to save fuel. (You'll also reduce the risk of scalding.)
- Add caulking and weather-stripping around doors, attic access, windows, outdoor faucets and any areas where there might be leaks. (As much as 40 percent of your heating and cooling costs can be due to air leaks.) Check caulking at least once a year and replace material that has dried out and shrunk.
- Install rubber gaskets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls. (Gaskets can be found in most home improvement stores.)
- Check weather-stripping and door sweeps at least once a year and repair or replace them as needed.
- Repair and weatherize your storm windows.
- Close off rooms you don't use - and remember to shut the vents inside.
- Install dimmer switches. In addition to enhancing the mood, they'll extend the life of your bulbs and help you save up to 60 percent on your lighting costs.
- Install motion activated switches that automatically turn lights on and off.
- Install water-conserving fixtures, such as showerheads, faucets and toilets.
- Fix leaky faucets, especially hot water faucets. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons per month - more than a person uses in two weeks.
- Take showers instead of baths. A five-minute shower will use about 7.5 gallons of hot water; filling a bathtub can use up to 20 gallons.
- Keep ductwork in good repair by sealing leaks with mastic, metal-backed tape (not duct tape). Your home could be losing up to 25 percent of its heated or cooled air before it reaches the vents!
- Install ceiling fans. They could cut your energy bill for cooling by 40 percent.
- Use efficient temperature setting for your refrigerator and freezer. Recommended temperatures are 37 to 40°F for the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer.
- Don't leave the fridge door open! Every time you do, up to 30 percent of the air inside can escape. The same can be said for your oven.
- Use less water and use cooler water when doing laundry. The warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load's energy use in half.
- Consider air-drying clothes on clotheslines or drying racks. Clothing manufacturers recommend air-drying for some fabrics.
- Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water; it's faster and uses less energy.
Please contact us for more money-saving conservation advice.