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You can save energy dollars by following these simple tips. Many of them are common sense suggestions that require no tools or out of pocket expense. Over time, you will see your energy efficiency increase and your energy savings multiply.

Heating/Cooling | Kitchen / Laundry | Home Electronics

  • Set your thermostat at 78F in the summer and 68F in the winter. Each degree cooler or warmer will increase your energy use by 6% to 8%. For instance, setting your thermostat at 72F in the summer could increase energy use by up to 40%. The same is true if you set your thermostat for higher energy use in the winter.
  • Turn off lights & fans when you leave a room. Fans only make you feel cooler. They do nothing to lower the temperature. Most ceiling fans use less energy than a light bulb.
  • If you have central air conditioning, do not close vents in unused rooms. This could increase pressure and cause leaks in your ducts. This does not apply to homes or apartments with window units where closing off unused rooms will reduce cooling costs and increase comfort.
  • Check air conditioning ducts. If you feel leaks between sections, or where the ducts connect with the air handler, seal them with metal tape and a coating of mastic.
  • Clean or replace air filters. Dirty filters can increase operating costs by 20% because they make your system work harder and run longer than necessary. They also encourage the build up of mold and mildew, making cleaning more difficult.
  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120F or the 'normal' setting when home, and to the lowest setting when away. Water heating accounts for about 13% of home energy costs.
  • Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, an unnecessary expense.
  • Consider new high efficiency air conditioners and heat pumps. They use up to 40% less electricity than older models for the same amount of running time.
  • During the summer, keep the window coverings closed during the day to prevent solar gain. Close curtains on south and west facing windows during the day, and install awnings on south and west facing windows.
  • Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south facing windows to reduce solar gain.
  • Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
  • Avoid placing 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.
  • Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units but not to block the airflow. Place your room air conditioner on the north side of the house. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
  • Have your air conditioning unit serviced to cut 15% of cooling costs.
  • Clean your air conditioner's condenser / evaporator coils at the beginning of the season. The fin coils on the outside air conditioner unit can be washed with a hose. Clean coils lower your energy costs, extend the units life and provide cleaner air for you to breathe.
  • Measure the insulation in the attic. Many houses have 4 to 6 inches of insulation. You need about 12 inches. Big-box stores have blowers you can use to spray insulation if you buy from them.
  • Seal cracks, gaps, leaks with spray-in expandable foam.

General

  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to save 75% off lighting costs.

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