Good planning and thoughtful everyday habits can save significant amounts of energy and water. In the process of conserving, you also save money as an additional benefit. Keep these hints in mind as you select and use your home’s features:
Heating and Cooling
Maintain all your home’s systems in clean and good working order to prevent inconvenience and maximize efficiency.
Keep filters clean or replace them regularly.
Learn how to use your day/night thermostat for comfort and efficient energy use.
During cold days, open window coverings to allow the sun to warm your home. Close them when the sun begins to set.
During the winter, humidifying the air in your home allows the air to retain more heat and is a general health benefit. Note: If condensation develops on your windows, you have taken a good thing too far and need to lower the setting on the humidifier. Avoid use of the humidifier when you are using your air conditioner.
Ceiling fans cost little to operate and the moving air allows you to feel comfortable at temperatures several degrees higher.
On hot days, close all windows and the window coverings on windows facing the sun to minimize solar heating and reduce demands on your air conditioner.
Whole house fans draw cool outside air into the home through open windows, often effectively creating a comfortable temperature. Avoid running a whole house fan at the same time as air conditioning.
Correct plumbing leaks, running toilets, or dripping faucets ASAP.
In selecting your home’s appliances, compare the information on the (yellow and black) Energy Guide sticker. Sometimes spending a bit more up front can reduce operating costs over the life of the appliance, conserving energy at the same time.
When baking, preheat your oven just five minutes before you use it.When possible, bake several items at the same time or at least consecutively. Turn the oven off a few minutes before baking time is done.
Microwave rather than using the range when possible, especially during hot weather.
Run the dishwasher when it has a full load and use the air-dry cycle. Avoid regular use of the rinse and hold cycle.
Turn electric burners off a few minutes before cooking is complete.
Refrigerators with the freezer on top generally use significantly less energy than side-by-side models.
Use compact fluorescent bulbs or fluorescent tubes where possible. Incandescent bulbs are the least efficient source of light.
Turn lights and other electric items off when you finish using them or leave the room.
Caulk in dry weather when temperatures are moderate. Check all locations, such as:
- Foundation penetrations (electrical, phone, water, cable tv, line entrances)
- Around fans and vents
- Joints between door or window frames and siding
Check weatherstripping on all exterior doors and adjust as needed. Ensure that door thresholds are a good fit—most are adjustable.