Save Energy and Money
In order to conserve energy and lower your utility bill it is sometimes necessary to make some low-cost or no-cost improvements to your home. However, most of the time, energy efficiency can be accomplished through lifestyle changes and improved energy use habits.
The following energy efficiency tips will guide you in making wise energy decisions.
Heating and Cooling
- For cooling, the recommended thermostat setting is 78 degrees or higher. In the winter, set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower.
- Use of fans, ceiling type or oscillating, along with your air conditioner will allow you to feel more comfortable at a higher temperature.
- For every degree you can raise the thermostat, you will save 6% on your cooling cost.
- Use fans in occupied rooms only - they cool people, not houses.
- Shade the south and west windows to keep the hot sun out. Use exterior shading from trees, shrubs, or trellis vines that tend to lose their leaves in winter, or use awnings or shutters. Keeping the drapes or blinds closed will also help lower cooling costs.
- Set the water heater thermostats to 120 degrees (upper) and 110 degrees (lower) if not using a dishwasher and 140 degrees (upper) and 130 degrees (lower) if using a dishwasher that does not have its own temperature sensor or water temperature boost.
- Be sure to set thermostats properly - 0-10° F. degrees in freezers and 35-45° F. in refrigerators.
- If possible, keep your refrigerator/freezer full (add ice if necessary); it works more efficiently.
- Keep the dryer's lint filter clean. A dirty filter increases drying time. Inspect the vent hose for potential blockage or restrictions.
Electric Water Heaters
- Use hot water only when necessary.
- Set the water heater thermostats to 120 degrees (upper) and 110 degrees (lower) without dishwasher and 140 degrees (upper) and 130 degrees (lower) with dishwasher.
- Check hot water lines and faucets for leaks. A leaky faucet will result in money down the drain.
- To save energy when using an electric stove, cook in covered pots and pans.
- Try to bake several foods at one time. Don’t be an "oven peeker." You can lose up to 25 degrees each time you open the oven door.
- Self-cleaning ranges conserve electricity because they have added insulation.
Refrigerators and Freezers:
- Don’t open and close the refrigerator or freezer door more than necessary.
- Replace worn gaskets so doors seal tightly.
- Dust coils regularly to keep unit from "working overtime."
- Be sure to set thermostat properly.
- If possible, keep your refrigerator/freezer full, it works more efficiently.
- Use the washer and dryer with full loads only. Use cold water when possible.
- Keep the dryer’s lint filter clean. A dirty filter increases drying time.
- Turn off all unnecessary lights.
- Use lower wattage bulbs for decorative lighting.
- Fluorescent lighting is cooler and more efficient than incandescent.
- For night lighting, use clock timers or photo-electric cells that turn lights on and off automatically.