Use these simple no-cost, low cost tips to save energy and money on your utilities bill.
- Turn your thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer.
In the winter, keep your thermostat at 68 degrees when at home (put a sweater on if it gets chilly) and 60 degrees when not at home or sleeping. During the summer, set your air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees when you're at home and 85 degrees when you're away. (Free)
- Turn off lights in empty rooms.
On average, lighting your home accounts for 10 to 15 percent of your energy bill. Be sure to flip the switch when you're leaving a room. (Free)
- Microwave food or use a toaster oven or grill rather than a conventional oven.
Avoid using a large conventional oven when cooking small portions of food. Microwaves and toaster ovens use much less energy, but cook foods just as well. In the summer, use your outdoor grill. (Free)
- Wash only full loads of dishes and laundry.
You'll conserve the amount of natural gas used to heat the water that your dishwasher and washing machine need. You'll not only be saving energy, but you'll be saving water too. (Free)
- Use the sun and window coverings to control the temperature in your home.
Open window coverings on sunny days to let in the sun's warmth. Close them at night or on cloudy days to keep the cold air out. Use draperies, blinds, curtains or shutters on all windows to slow the loss of heat through the glass. (Free)
- Adjust the temperature on your hot water heater.
Water heating typically accounts for 16 percent of your energy bill. Set water heater temperatures no higher than 120 degrees. (Free)
- Position your furniture in your home for optimal comfort.
Make sure your furniture is placed next to inside walls instead of outside walls, and away from drafty windows. Avoid blocking heat registers and returns with furniture, draperies or carpet. (Free)
- Seal leaks and cracks especially around windows and doors.
Poorly sealed homes allow heated air to escape through gaps. Caulking and weather-stripping reduces uncomfortable drafts and lowers energy bills. ($10)
- Replace old light bulbs with LEDs.
By replacing 25 percent of your lights in high-use areas with LEDs, you can cut your lighting costs in half. ($3 to $7 per bulb)
- Check and replace furnace and A/C filters.
Replace furnace and air conditioner filters every 30 days to maximize its operating efficiency. A dirty filter makes the equipment work harder to push air through it. ($10)