TOP 10 TIPS
Here are the top ten things that any good energy saver should do first.
1. Replace any lightbulb, especially ones that are on more than one hour per day, with an LED bulb.
2. Close shades and drapes during the day to help keep heat out during summer.
3. Plug electronic devices such as cable boxes, printers and TVs into power strips to turn off during vacations or long periods without use.
4. Outside your home, caulk around all penetrations, including telephone, electrical, cable, gas, water spigots and dryer vents.
5. Change heating and cooling system air filters monthly.
6. Use the dishwasher’s air-dry cycle instead of the heat-dry cycle to dry dishes.
7. Keep your garage door down. A warmer garage in the winter and cooler garage in the summer will save energy.
8. Set the water heater temperature no higher than 120 degrees.
9. Make sure the dryer vent hose is not kinked or clogged.
10. Ensure refrigerator door seals are tight.
Traditional lighting can amount to 11 percent of your monthly energy use. Energy-saving lightbulbs can slice lighting costs by 75 percent.
11. Replace outdoor lighting with equivalent outdoor-rated LED bulbs. LEDs work well in cold weather.
12. Replace fluorescent tube lamps with LED-equivalent tube bulbs.
13. Use outdoor security lights with a photocell and/or a motion sensor.
14. Turn off unnecessary lighting, especially when you leave a room.
These plug loads around the home can add up to 8-15 percent of monthly energy use.
15. Turn off computers, monitors and printers when not in use.
16. When buying a new computer, select an Energy Star® model. Consider buying a laptop, as it uses less energy than a comparable desktop.
17. Turn off or unplug large-screen TVs when not in use.
18. Check for energy-saving settings on flat-panel TVs, such as automatic brightness control and a power-saving sleep mode.
19. Request an Energy Star set-top box from your cable or satellite TV provider.
20. Turn off stereos and radios when not in use.
21. Enable the auto power-down feature on gaming consoles.
22. Use energy-saving modes or automatic sleep functions on electronics.
23. Remember to turn off and unplug hair dryers and irons.
24. Make sure electric blankets and mattress pads are turned off in the morning.
25. Ensure all new appliances, electronics and lights are Energy Star labeled.
26. Turn off pool pumps and heaters when the pool’s not in use.
27. Verify livestock water tank heaters are off when not needed.
28. Make sure heat tape on pipes is off when not needed.
29. Unplug battery chargers when not needed.
The kitchen is responsible for 15-20 percent of your monthly energy use, including appliances and refrigeration.
30. Turn off coffeemakers not in use.
31. Use the refrigerator’s anti-sweat feature only if necessary.
32. Switch your refrigerator’s power-saver switch to “on.”
33. Clean refrigerator coils annually.
34. If it’s not frost-free, regularly defrost refrigerator or freezer to avoid ice buildup.
35. Set the refrigerator temperature to 34-37 degrees and freezer temperature to 0-5 degrees.
36. Unplug unused refrigerators or freezers. Recycle them if you don’t need them.
37. Use microwave for cooking when possible.
38. On the range or cooktop, use pot lids to help food cook faster.
39. If you’re heating water on the cooktop, use cold tap water instead of hot.
40. Remember to use the kitchen exhaust fan when cooking. Turn it off after cooking.
41. Use a slow-cooker instead of simmering foods on the stove.
42. Scrape dirty dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.
43. Use cold water for garbage disposal.
44. Only run dishwasher when full.
Water heating can reach 12 percent of your annual energy use.
45. For households with one or two members, a 115-degree temperature setting may work fine.
46. Install a water heater wrap (also known as a water heater blanket).
47. Drain 1-2 gallons from bottom of water heater each year to reduce sediment buildup.
48. Install heat traps on hot and cold water lines when it’s time to replace your water heater.
49. Insulate exposed hot water lines.
50. Take 5- to 7-minute showers.
51. Install water-saving showerheads.
52. Fix dripping faucets.
53. Don’t let the water run while you’re shaving or brushing your teeth.
Laundry can use 5-9 percent of your monthly energy.
54. Wash clothes in cold water. Use hot water only for very dirty loads.
55. Only do full laundry loads.
56. If you must do smaller loads, adjust the water level in the washing machine to match the load size.
57. Always use a cold-water rinse.
58. Use bath towels multiple times before washing them.
59. Clean dryer’s lint trap before each load.
60. Make sure the dryer’s outdoor exhaust door is not blocked or clogged.
61. Verify that the dryer vent hose is tightly connected to the inside wall.
62. Check that the dryer vent hose is tightly connected to dryer.
63. Minimize clothes drying time by using the dryer’s auto-moisture sensor.
64. Dry consecutive loads to harvest heat remaining in the dryer from last load.
65. In hot weather, avoid running the dryer during the day.
66. Consider using a “solar-powered” clothes dryer: an old-fashioned clothesline.
HEATING AND COOLING
Heating and air-conditioning are usually the largest loads in a home and are responsible for 40-50 percent of your annual energy spending.
67. Set thermostats to 78 degrees in summer, 68 degrees in winter.
68. Install a smart, programmable thermostat.
69. During summer, run ceiling fans on medium, blowing down; during winter, run ceiling fans on low, blowing up.
70. Turn off ceiling fans when leaving the room. Fans cool people, not rooms.
71. When installing new air filters, make sure they’re facing in the direction of airflow (look for an arrow on side of filter).
72. When heating or cooling, keep windows shut and locked.
73. Insulate electric wall outlets and wall switches with foam pads.
74. Caulk along baseboards with a clear sealant.
75. Caulk around plumbing penetrations that come through walls beneath bathroom and kitchen sinks.
76. Caulk electrical wire penetrations at the top of the interior walls in the attic.
77. Make sure drapes and shades are open during the day to catch free solar heat in winter.
78. In winter, close shades and drapes at night to keep in heat. In summer, close shades and drapes during the day to keep out warm sunlight.
79. Ensure attic access door or hatch closes tightly and is insulated.
80. Make sure insulation in your attic doesn’t block soffit vents.
81. Don’t close off unused rooms that are conditioned by forced-air systems.
82. Don’t close supply air registers.
83. Check to be sure return air grilles are not blocked by furniture or drapes.
84. Ensure windows and doors are properly weatherstripped and use door sweeps.
85. Make sure outside soffit vents are not blocked.
86. Use a thermostat to control power attic ventilators so they don’t draw conditioned air from your home.
87. Have your heating and cooling system serviced once per year by a certified technician.
88. Monitor your home’s humidity in the summer. If it consistently stays in the 60 percent range or higher, ask a heating and cooling technician about lowering your central air-conditioning unit’s indoor fan speed.
89. Ensure window air-conditioning units are weatherstripped. Remove the units in the winter.
90. Remove and clean window air-conditioner filter monthly.
91. Close fresh-air vents on window air-conditioning units.
92. Use heavy-duty, clear sheets of plastic sealed tightly on the inside of windows to reduce the amount of cold air entering your home during the winter. Alternately, install clear plastic insulating kits inside.
93. Minimize use of electric space heaters. Turn off space heaters when leaving the room.
94. Ensure your outdoor heat pump/air-conditioning unit is kept clean and free of debris.
95. When a fire’s burning in the fireplace, turn down your heating system thermostat a few degrees.
96. When using the fireplace, open the outside air vent or open the nearest window slightly.
97. Keep the fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning.
98. Ensure rugs, drapes or furniture don’t block floor registers.
99. Caulk around storm windows and basement windows.
100. Turn off bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans 15 minutes after the job is complete – or install timers on bathroom ventilation fans.
101. For summer, plant trees and shrubs to provide shade on the east, south and west sides of your home. For winter, evergreen trees and shrubs can provide a windbreak on the north and west sides.