Tips for Saving Energy
An energy-efficient home will save you money while keeping your family comfortable. ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances, high-performance windows and reflective roofs are great investments that will yield long-term savings. There are also a lot of simple changes you and your family can make to cut your electric bill.
Cooling and Heating
- Use ceiling fans. They only use about as much electricity as a standard light bulb, but the breeze of a fan can make you feel three to four degrees cooler. They only cool off people and pets, though, so be sure to turn them off when you leave the room. In the summer, set your ceiling fan to turn counter-clockwise; in the winter, run it clockwise at low speed.
- Change or clean your AC's air filters at least once a month.
- Use a programmable thermostat to adjust your temperature during the day, and set your thermostat fan switch to "auto" so it will shut off when it's not needed.
- Close air vents in rooms you're not using so you're not paying to cool them.
Appliances and Electronics
- A full freezer uses less energy than an empty one. Fill the empty spaces with gallon containers of water.
- Wash and dry several loads of clothes at once, so that your dryer doesn't completely cool down before it needs to heat up for the next load.
- Turning off your dishwasher after the wash cycle and letting your dishes air-dry will save energy and keep the dishwasher from heating up your kitchen.
- Don't open the oven door while cooking. The cooking temperature can drop as much as 25 degrees each time you do.
- Use that backyard grill more often during the summer. The oven forces your AC to work harder to cool the kitchen
- Turn off kitchen and bath vent fans after use.
- Always wash clothes with cold water. Laundry detergent works just as well, and you’ll save 40 cents per load.
- Set your computer to sleep or hibernate mode instead of using a screen saver.
- Unplug battery chargers when not in use. Many chargers draw power continuously, even if the device is not plugged in.