Set your water heater thermostat at the lowest temperature that provides you
with sufficient hot water, but not lower than 120* F.
most households, 120* F water is fine. If you use a lot of hot water, you
may need to set the temperature higher to provide enough hot water for your
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)
Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs). Standard incandescent light
bulbs lose 90% of their energy as heat. CFLs produce only a fraction of the
heat and do not waste electricity.
Use an exhaust fan to blow hot air out of your kitchen while cooking. The
savings in your cooling costs far outweigh the electricity use of the fan.
Clean AC Unit
Clean air conditioner filters regularly, keep the front and back of air
In warmer weather, delay heat-producing tasks, such as dishwashing, baking,
or doing laundry, until the cooler evening hours.
Seal AC Gaps
Seal gaps along the sides of your air conditioner to keep the outside air
from seeping in.
Shaded AC Units
Room air conditioners work best when kept out of direct sunlight. Install
them near shade trees or on the north side of the house if possible.
You can save up to 3% on your cooling costs for every degree you raise your
thermostat in the summer. For example, raising it from 73 to 78 degrees can
save up to 15% in cooling costs.
During the day, let sunlight in by opening curtains, blinds and shades over
the windows facing the sun to keep your home warm and reduce heating needs.
At night or when the sky is overcast, keep drapes and curtains closed to
keep warmth indoors.
By turning down your thermostat 1 degree F, you can save 25-30 gallons of
heating oil per year. That's up to 3% of an average home's yearly
consumption, or between $105-$128 per year at a recent average rate of
heating oil ($4.26/gallon).
Insulate those pipes before it gets cold! When temperatures are at or below
freezing, running a steady drop of hot and cold water from your faucets may
keep your pipes from freezing. If your pipes are not insulated, they can
freeze even with a small flow of water. So, insulate those pipes! But
beware; insulated pipes can freeze when there is no water movement to keep
the pipes warm.
Clean your humidifier at the beginning of every heating season. Review your
owner’s manual for the proper procedure to clean the evaporator pad and
Inspect your furnace’s combustion area and vent system before each heating
season. If you find dirt, soot or rust, your system may not operate properly
or at its peak efficiency. Call
HVAC and do not operate your furnace until it is professionally inspected
Make sure your outdoor coil stays in a level position. If the support for
your outdoor coil shifts or settles and the unit is no longer level,
re-level it to make sure moisture drains properly out from under the unit.
If the exterior of your outdoor coil becomes dirty, use a brush or a vacuum
cleaner with a soft brush attachment to clean the surface. To clean dirt
that is deep in the coil, contact an
HVAC representative to schedule
Keep your outdoor condensing unit free of debris. If you keep grass
clippings, leaves, shrubbery and debris away from your outdoor unit, it
should only require minimal care. Check the base pan (under the unit)
occasionally and remove debris to help the unit drain properly.
Wrap Your Water Heater
Wrap your water heater with a water heater blanket, especially if it's in an
unheated area of your home. The blanket could save you up to 10% on water
Insulate Water Pipes
Insulate hot water pipes that provide heat to the rooms in your home. This
will reduce heat loss in un-insulated areas and will help your heating
system work more efficiently.
Roots can be a big problem. They can grow into the joints of the pipes. A
little "root-x" flushed down the toilet can reduce the growth of roots in
your pipes. It needs to sit in the pipes overnight, so do it before bed.
Use cold water when the disposal is operating. You can clean your disposal
by grinding ice cubes. When your disposal needs a little freshening, just
grind some lemon peels. Of course, you should read your maintenance manual.
Weak or changing water pressure usually points to a mineral buildup in the
showerhead. Clean the outlet holes with a pin or unscrew the faceplate and
soak it overnight in vinegar. Scrub it clean before replacing it on the
Scalding Tap Water
Thousands of people are scalded by tap water every year. The Gas Appliance
Manufacturers Association recommends that the full-on hot water temperature
at the faucet be set between 120° and 125° F.
Preventing Kitchen Drain Clogs
A clogged drain can be so frustrating; and, of course, it happens more often
than we care to think about! Usually, kitchen sink drains clog because of a
build-up of grease. The grease traps food particles, which eventually clogs
the drain. Now, the bathroom drains are a different story. They are usually
clogged by hair and soap. So, take some simple precautions to avoid this
Winterize a Vacant Home
Preparing your plumbing for the winter is a wise alternative to frozen
representative to schedule.
You can help to avoid mildew problems with
these preventative actions.
Ventilate basements or run dehumidifiers to dry the air, walls and
furnishings. Don’t hang wet clothes in your closets. Keep your showers and
tubs clean of soap-scum so that they dry quicker. Air-out your bathroom
cabinets and kitchen sink cabinet often.
Water Moisture in the Home
Make sure that vents (with a ventilating fan) are installed in your kitchen
and baths. These rooms can produce a lot of moisture. Ventilating fans are
great but will be of no use if they are not turned on! So make sure that you
Clean Air Cleaner
The pre-filter and collection cells of an electronic air cleaner should be
cleaned at least two or three times per year.
Check the air filter in your furnace or fan coil each month. A dirty filter
will cause excessive wear on your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump.
Replace your filter when necessary, or clean it if you have the reusable
type. (If you have a reusable filter, make sure it’s completely dry before
you re-install it.)
Choosing the Right Bulb
Replace incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) -- CFLs can
give the same amount and quality of light as incandescent bulbs, yet use
one-third the amount of energy and last ten times longer. A CFL can save
over $30 in electricity costs over the lamp's lifetime compared to an
incandescent bulb and save 2,000 times their own weight in green house
Use dimmer switches or timers on lights. Savings: 7-10 percent of lighting
Cleaning Lighting Fixtures
Keep bulbs and fixtures clean. Dirt will absorb the light and reduce the
Dishwasher Cycle Options
Choose a dishwasher with
several wash cycle selections. If your dishes are only slightly dirty,
you can use the light or energy-saving wash cycle, it uses less water and
runs for a shorter period of time.
Operate your dishwasher at full capacity.
And if the manufacturer's instructions permit,
open the door of the dishwasher at the end of the last rinse cycle, rather
than using the drying cycle.
Choosing the Right Dishwasher
Choose the right size dishwasher for your home. Standard capacity models
hold more than 8 place settings and 6 serving pieces. Compact capacity
models hold 8 place settings and six serving pieces or less. If you have to
operate a compact model more frequently, you may actually use more energy
than you would with a standard model over time.
Don't preheat your oven. And try to avoid "peeking" by opening the oven
door. Each "peek" can lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
Don’t Over Dry
Don't over-dry clothes that you are going to iron. Take clothes out of the
dryer while they are still slightly damp to reduce the need for ironing -
another big energy user.
Use the smallest pan necessary to do the job. Match the pan size to the
element size. For example, a 6" pan on an 8" burner can waste over 40% of
the heat produced by the burner.
Load the washing machine to capacity. Washing one large load will take less
energy than washing two loads on a low or medium setting. When you don't
have a full load, match the water level to the size of the load.
Drying Full Loads
Dry full loads when possible, but be careful not to overfill the dryer,
because air needs to circulate around the clothes.
Set Appliance at Lower Temp
Use lower temperature settings on your washing machine, preferably the cold
water cycle, and only use cold for rinses.
The temperature of the rinse water does not affect
Keeping the Freezer Full
Keep the freezer full of something, such as loaves of bread or milk jugs
filled with water, to keep the cold air inside the freezer even when the
door is open.
Keep the fridge clean - extra containers require a refrigerator to work
Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are not running too cold. The
temperature in your refrigerator should be 38-40 degree F, and the freezer 0
to 5 degrees.
Reduce your annual energy bill by as much as $160 by unplugging and properly
disposing of your extra refrigerator or freezer.
Make sure the seals on your refrigerator, freezer and oven doors fit
tightly. Easily perform this test by leaving a lit flashlight inside a
closed appliance and if you see light around the gasket, replace the gasket.
Use fans in your windows to draw in cooler night air. Close the windows
during the day to keep the cooler air in.
Close Windows in Daytime
Close window blinds or drapes in the daytime summer hours. Sunlight shining
in windows usually adds the largest amount of unwanted summertime heat.
During the hottest weather, keep windows closed to keep hot air from blowing
into your home. In the evening and early in the morning, open windows to
allow cooler air in.
Instead of an air conditioner, open windows on opposite sides of the house
Insulate attic access and basement trap doors with R-19 insulation. Savings:
1-3 percent of heating/cooling costs.
Install proper ceiling insulation to at least R-30 standards. Insulate
walls, floors and heating ducts, too. Savings: up to 25% of heating and
Install storm or thermal (replacement) windows. These tightly fitting
windows give the benefit of double-pane glass. Air trapped between the two
panes acts as a thermal insulator, keeping your heated air inside where it
belongs. Be sure to get windows that have the new super-efficient, low-emissivity
Install storm doors to prevent warm air from escaping to the outside and
remove window air conditioners in the winter, if possible. If not possible,
use an insulated cover. This tip could save you up to 15% on your heating
Sealing Electrical Outlets
Seal off electric receptacles and switch boxes with foam gaskets or
fiberglass insulation. Savings: 1-3 percent of heating/cooling costs.
Use clear plastic sheets to insulate windows during the heating season.
Savings: 2-7 percent of heating/cooling costs.
Sealing Weather Strips
By caulking and weather-stripping, you can cut your heating bills up to 10%.
Weather-strip doors and windows, and caulk air leaks around windows, door
frames, pipes and ducts.
Seal any leaks in your heating or cooling system ducts. Also, fix leaks in
water/steam heat pipes. Savings: 5-25 percent of heating/cooling costs.