Below are no-cost, low-cost steps to get the most out of your energy dollar.
- Purchase an ENERGY STAR® programmable thermostat. You can save up to 30 percent on your summer cooling bills.
- Set your air conditioner thermostat to 78°F or higher, health permitting, during the summer. Set it to 85°F or higher when you leave your home for more than four hours. Three to five percent more energy is used for each degree the air conditioner is set below 78 degrees.
- Change your air-conditioning filter every 30 days to maximize its operating efficiency.
- Use a portable fan or install ceiling fans. Creating air movement in a room can improve the comfort of the space. Ceiling fans are often all you need to make your home comfortable. They also can cut energy use and cost compared to central air conditioning.
- Don’t place lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
- Try to reduce cooking time and avoid adding heat to your house that the air conditioner has to remove. Cook in the microwave or use a patio grill.
- Keep the window coverings closed during the day to prevent solar gain - especially where direct sunlight comes into windows.
- Caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors can save up to 10 percent of your overall energy use.
- You can save up to 10 percent on energy for cooling by upgrading from 3 inches to 12 inches of insulation.
- Avoid unnecessary appliance use during the day and turn off lights, appliances and electronics when not in use.
Winter Energy-Saving Tips
- Install a programmable thermostat. ENERGY STAR® qualified programmable thermostats can help save up to 30 percent on your heating bill.
- Set your thermostat no higher than 68°F when at home, and 60°F when away or sleeping.
- Get an annual furnace checkup and change the filter every 30 days.
- Avoid using portable electric heaters as they can consume a large amount of electricity in a short period of time.
- Weatherize your home. Up to 20 percent savings can be achieved on heating bills by caulking around windows and weather-stripping around doors. The same type of savings can be achieved on heating bills by upgrading from 3 inches to 12 inches of insulation.
Year-Round Energy-Saving Tips
- Set your water heater no higher than 120°F .
- Turn off lights and unnecessary electronics when they are not in use.