October is Energy Action Month, a time to encourage the community to contribute to sustainability efforts by learning more about energy efficiency and practicing smarter energy use. As the cooler months approach, consider our low-cost or no-cost tips for inside and outside your home to help use energy (and water) wisely, save money and stay comfortable.
1. Take advantage of heat from the sun. Open curtains on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat the home and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
2. Adjust the thermostat. When home, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. While asleep or out of the house, turn the thermostat back to save on heating bills. A smart thermostat can make it easy to set back the temperature.
3. Find and seal leaks. Add caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
4. Schedule a furnace check-up. Replace filters once a month or as needed.
5. Reduce heat loss from the fireplace. Keep the fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
6. Check holiday lights. Use LED holiday lights to reduce the cost of decorating for the holidays.
7. Turn off lights in empty rooms. On average, home lighting accounts for 10 to 15 percent of energy bills. Flip the switch off when leaving a room.
8. Adjust your water heater. Turn down the temperature of the water heater to the warm setting (120°F). Wash clothes on the cold setting.
9. Adjust the sprinkler system. As the temperatures drop, cut back to watering only one day a week in October.
10. Wash full loads. Modern dishwashers use less water than handwashing. Wash only full loads of dishes and laundry to use water and the natural gas used to heat it wisely.
If you are updating appliances or just trying to reduce the monthly utility bill, we offer rebates on energy and water efficient products and appliances. Visit csu.org to learn more.