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
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 EnergyStar.gov’s Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency for details.