Heating, Cooling and Water Heating
Get the most out of your heating, cooling and water heating systems.
- Close shades and drapes during the day to help keep heat out in summer.
- Clean or replace HVAC air filters monthly.
- Set your thermostat to 78ºF in summer.
- Keep your garage door down. A cooler garage in the summer will save money.
- Monitor your home’s relative humidity in the summer. If it consistently stays in the 60 percent range or higher, ask your HVAC technician about your central air condition unit’s indoor fan speed.
- Ensure all seals to your home, including weather stripping around doors and caulking around windows, are intact and secure. Even the smallest gap could lead to cool air escaping, costing you additional money.
- Seal all ductwork throughout the home, particularly in the attic where the ducts may be exposed to unconditioned air. Sealing can be done with insulation tape.
- Keep all air vents open and clear. It may be tempting to shut air vents and redirect airflow, but this actually makes your HVAC unit work harder, using additional energy. Furniture should always be kept away from floor vents as well so air can flow freely.
- Take an interactive home tour to learn how to save on cooling and more!
- Outside your home, caulk around all penetrations including telephone, electrical, cable, gas, water spigots, dryer vents, etc.
- Keep your garage door down. A warmer garage in the winter will save money.
- Set thermostats to 68ºF in winter.
- Ensure the attic access door closes tightly and is insulated.
- When using the fireplace, turn down your heating system thermostat.
- Use space heaters properly and wisely. Space heaters are most effective when used in rooms currently occupied. Close doors to rooms that are not in need of additional heat. Never leave a space heater unattended or keep the space heater too close to any flammable objects, such as curtains. Always keep a fire extinguisher close by in case of emergency.
- If your home has a fireplace, keep the dampener closed when you are not using it. An open dampener could leak up to 25% of your home’s heat out of the chimney.
- Set water heater temperature no higher than 120ºF
- Install water saving shower heads.
- Fix dripping faucets.
- Drain 1-2 gallons from bottom of water heater each year to reduce sediment build up.
- Take quick showers instead of baths. This greatly reduces the amount of hot water needed.
- Insulate exposed hot water lines.
- Wash clothes in cold water. Use hot water only for very dirty loads.
- Light your home at a lower cost and use your appliances and electronics efficiently.
Lighting, Appliances and Electronics
Light your home at a lower cost and use your appliances and electronics efficiently.
- Replace any light bulb, especially ones that are on more than one hour per day, with a light emitting diode (LED) bulb.
- Replace outdoor lighting with its equivalent outdoor-rated LED bulb. LEDs work well in cold weather.
- Use fixtures with electronic ballasts and T-8, 32 Watt fluorescent lamps.
- Use outdoor security lights with a photocell and/or a motion sensor.
- Turn off unnecessary lighting.
- Keep lightbulbs clean. Believe it or not, dust can dramatically reduce the brightness of your home’s lighting, potentially causing you to turn on more bulbs than needed to obtain the same level of brightness.
Stove & Oven
- Use a slow-cooker instead of simmering foods on the stove.
- When cooking on the stovetop, keep your pots and pans covered to keep the heat in. This reduces the amount of energy required to prepare the same meal.
- When cooking in the oven, keep the door shut. Every time you open the oven, heat escapes which then requires your oven to reheat, using excess energy.
- During the summer, opt for the grill over the cooktop or oven to save electricity.
Washer & Dryer
- Make sure dryer vent hose is not kinked or clogged.
- Only do full laundry loads.
- Clean dryer’s lint trap before each load.
- Use the cold wash cycle whenever possible to save energy.
- If you have the outdoor space and the weather is nice, consider hang-drying your clothes rather than running your dryer.
- Regularly defrost refrigerator or freezer to avoid ice buildup.
- Adjust the temperature on your refrigerator and freezer to ensure you aren’t keeping it too cold and using extra energy. Energy Star recommends 35 to 38°F for the refrigerators and 0°F for freezers.
- Ensure refrigerator door seals are tight. Never leave your refrigerator or freezer doors open for prolonged periods of time.
- Routinely clean your refrigerator coils to keep the appliance running efficiently.
- Use dishwasher’s air-dry cycle instead of the heat dry cycle to dry dishes.
- Only run dishwasher when fully loaded.
- Scrape excess food from dishes rather than pre-washing them. Pre-washing requires extra water, which your hot water heater must heat. Most modern dishwashers can surface dirt on dishes without a pre-wash.
Click here to get an estimate of your appliance and electronic energy use and how much it costs to operate specific products
- Plug electronic devices such as cable boxes, printers and TVs into power strips to turn off during vacations or long periods without use.
- Unplug battery chargers when not needed
- Turn computers and monitors off when not in use or set your computer to "sleep" mode when you leave for extended periods of time.
- Turn large-screen TVs off completely when not in use.
- Enable auto power down feature on gaming consoles.
- Request an ENERGY STAR® set-top box from cable or satellite provider.
- Turn off pool pumps and heaters when not needed.
- Buy computers, printers, scanners and copiers with the federal government's ENERGY STAR label for efficient electricity use.
- Buy multi-function machines for your business rather than stand-alone copiers, faxes and scanners.