Education Center

Heat and cool your home efficiently

One degree of heat or air conditioning can result in a 6-8% increase in energy use. For example, keeping your home at 74°F in the winter instead of 68°F could increase energy use by 40%!

  • The optimal settings are 78°F / 25°C in the summer
  • and 68°F / 20°C in the winter
  • Check air conditioning ducts for leaks
  • Clean or replace air filters
  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Consider high efficiency air conditioners and geothermal heat pumps
  • Caulk around windows, doors, and joints to prevent air loss
  • Use window shades, blinds or tinted glass to control sun-generated heat
  • Install windows with the appropriate energy ratings for your weather region
  • Make sure heat-producing devices such as TVs are not too close to your AC thermostat
  • If possible, keep your air conditioning units shaded
  • Have your heat and air conditioning units serviced every year
  • Clean your air conditioner’s condenser / evaporator coils at the beginning of the season
  • Use attic insulation at least 12 inches thick

Save Electricity

Compact fluorescent bulbs can help you save 75% off lighting costs.

  • Turn off the lights!
  • Turn off fans when you leave a room –
  • a running fan will not lower room temperature
  • Purchase only energy-star appliances
  • Use power strips
  • Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of standard incandescent bulbs
  • Keep your refrigerator at 38°F / 3°C and the freezer at 5°F / -15°C
  • Dust under and behind your refrigerator – clean coils help it run more efficiently
  • Check refrigerator doors to make sure they close properly and that the seals are tight
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer before every load
  • Air dry clothes and dishes when it is an option
  • Clean filters and appliances in accordance with manufacturers instructions
  • Pre-heat food in the microwave and then finish cooking in a conventional oven

Limit your use of hot water

Water heating accounts for about 13% of home energy costs.

  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to ‘normal’
  • or 120°F / 48°C when home
  • Turn your hot water heater thermostat to ‘vacation’ when away
  • Turn off hot water while brushing teeth
  • Wash your clothes in cold water

Home Energy Efficiency Tax Credits

If you live in the U.S. and install energy-efficient replacement windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment in your home you may be eligible for a tax credit for 30% of the cost, up to $1,500. See’s Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency for details.


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