Saving energy in your home doesn’t require a major investment of money or even your time. The tips listed below will cost you little of nothing and could reduce your annual energy bill by 25% or more!
Summer Saving Tips
Maintain and use your air conditioner wisely
Set the thermostat at 78° or higher and dress appropriately.
Clean or replace filters at least once a month.
Turn off the air conditioner when you are going to be gone for several hours and draw the shades to keep heat out. It takes less energy to re-cool the house when you return than it does to keep it cool while you are gone.
Keep heat-generating appliances away from the thermostat, minimizing the use.
Complement your air conditioner by using fans (fans use much less electricity than an air conditioner).
Lights/ Ceiling Fans/ Draperies
Again use compact fluorescent lights (CFL) they use as little as ¼ the amount of electricity used by incandescent bulbs.
Turn off all unnecessary lights and electronics.
Put a fan blowing in a window on the cool side of the house which will push out hot air while pulling cool air into the rest of the house.
Turn ceiling fans counter-clockwise to push air down and keep rooms cool in summer.
Close shades during the day to reduce solar heat gains.
Open shades and blinds on cool but sunny days.
White blinds, shades and curtains reflect sunlight (dark colors absorb it).
Close storm windows and doors to keep cool air in.
Water heaters/ Insulation
Reduce the thermostat on your water heater.
Make sure attics and exterior walls and floors are properly insulated.
Eliminate air leaks between the air conditioner and window with foam insulation or weather stripping.
Air conditioners work more efficiently when shaded (but make sure trees and shrubs do not block air flow).
Plant deciduous trees on the west and south sides of your yard, you can shade your home from sunlight during the hottest parts of the day.
Rocks and cement hold and radiate heat.
On very hot days, minimize the use of dryers, washers, ovens, stoves and other appliances that generate heat.
Days when the temperature reaches 90° or more, it is best to wait until after 6:00 pm before cooking, doing laundry and washing dishes.
Winter Saving Tips
Adjust Thermostat Temperature
Turn down the thermostat. Reduce the temp from 70° to 65° while you are home, and turn it down to 60 or 55 while you’re away or asleep.
Dress in warm/ layered clothing.
Close off an unused room entirely.
Lock windows, it tightens the seal to stop heat leaks.
Entertaining friends, turn down the thermostat a degree or two before they arrive. The additional body heat will make up the difference.
Set the temperature on your water heater at an appropriate level. 115° or 120° should be warm enough to meet household needs.
Change furnace filter regularly.
If you have a natural gas furnace, check the pilot light periodically. It should be steady blue flame.
Lighting / Ceiling Fans/ Draperies
Install compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL). CFL use dramatically less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last much longer.
Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms. Turn off or unplug computer, TVs and other electronic device when you are not using them or away for a few days.
Set ceiling fans to run clockwise in the winter. This will draw air up and keep warm air circulating.
Keep blinds, shades and draperies open during the day to allow sunlight in to warm your home (but close them at night for insulation purposes).
Make sure the attic, all exterior walls and floors are properly insulated, along with basements or crawl spaces.
Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house.
Close refrigerator door quickly.
Turn up the temp a few degrees in your refrigerator and save quite a few dollars.
Don’t preheat oven any longer than necessary.
Keep oven door closed while food is cooking.
Wash and rinse dishes in double sink and not under running water.
Use extra blankets instead of electric blankets.
Take showers that are 7 minutes or less.
Install high-efficiency showerhead and faucet aerator.
Turn off water while brushing your teeth.
Wash only full loads in cold water in clothes washer.
Dry only full loads in clothes dryer and wash loads back-to-back to take advantage of built-up heat.
Home Energy Licensed Professionals
A division of Semcac Weatherization
Serving Southeast Minnesota