Here are some things we can all do to be a smart energy consumer
There are many ways to conserve energy. By practicing home energy savings tips, you’ll spend less money heating and cooling your home.
Winter Energy-Saving Tips
Turn your thermostat down from 72°F– to 68°F for eight hours a day and you’ll save as much as 10% on energy costs. Every degree you lower your thermostat could save you about 3% on your heating bill.
Winterize windows with weatherstripping (for all movable joints) and caulk (for nonmoving parts). Also, use a window kit to insulate the inside of your windows, keeping cold air out and warm air in.
If you have a furnace, change your air filter once a month.
Reverse the direction of ceiling fans so they move warm air down, where you can feel it.
Summer Energy-Saving Tips
Avoid using your stove, oven, dishwasher or clothes dryer during the warmest periods of the day. Your a/c system will have to work harder to keep your home cool.
Fill your dishwasher completely before running it. In the summer, a dishwasher can add humidity to the air, so your air conditioning system will need to work harder to maintain a cool temperature.
Plant shade trees around your outdoor a/c unit. A unit sitting in the sun can use significantly more energy to cool your home than one in the shade.
Install ceiling fans. They use far less energy than air conditioners and allow you to feel cool while keeping your thermostat set higher.
Year-Round Energy-Saving Tips
Washing clothes in cold water instead of hot water can save you about $50 per year.
Put a dry towel in the dryer with each load of wet clothes. The towel will absorb dampness and reduce drying time by up to 33%, saving energy and money.
If you have a crawl space, inspect it regularly to be sure that the insulation inside is dry. When insulation gets wet, its effectiveness is significantly reduced. Find the source of the moisture and replace any damaged insulation.
Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator every year. The dirt buildup makes the refrigerator work harder to keep the contents cool, therefore using more energy.
When adjusting a thermostat manually, remember that the house will not warm up or cool down faster if you set the thermostat past the desired temperature.
Consider landscaping your home for energy conservation. For instance, plant evergreen trees on the north side of your home to block winter winds and deciduous (leafy) trees on the south side to block summer sun.
Make sure your attic is well insulated. This step alone can save you 20%%– to 35% on heating costs and up to 35% on air conditioning costs.
Install flow-restricting shower heads. You can reduce hot water use by as much as 50% without affecting shower pressure.
Leave your storm windows on all year long. They provide valuable year-round insulation. Storm windows can create substantial fuel savings.
Make sure your duct system is sealed. Leaky ducts can waste enormous amounts of heat and air conditioning, and you won’t know it until you get hit with a huge energy bill.
Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans wisely; in just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed or cooled air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done their job.