Easy, Low-Cost Energy-Saving Tips
- Lower the thermostat at night and when you're away, if health permits (55°F lowest setting). Save 1% for every 1°F temperature decrease for an eight-hour setback. Check the owner's manual if turning down the temperature for more than 24 hours.
Thermostat Setback [173 kB PDF]
- Check furnace filter monthly and replace as needed to maintain furnace efficiency.
- Seal around sewer vent pipe in basement and attic to keep in heated air.
- Close fireplace damper after fire is out to stop drafts and save money.
- Let the sun in during the day to reduce heating costs.
- Close drapes and shades at night to save money and improve comfort.
- Dry clothes on a clothesline instead of in a dryer.
- Clean the clothes dryer lint trap after each load. Dry faster and save money.
- Wash clothes in cold water. Save 10 to 20 cents per load.
- Replace most frequently used incandescent bulbs and fixtures with fluorescent. Save two-thirds of lighting costs.
- Use photo-eye and timer fixtures or timers on outdoor lights. Save energy.
- Turn lights off when not in use100 watts for 10 hours costs 12 cents.
- Set water heater at 120°F to 125°F. Save money and prevent scalding.
- Insulate pre-1990 water heaters, especially electric heaters. Pays for itself in six months.
- Install a low-flow showerhead. Save on water and heating costs.
- Unplug second refrigerator or freezer if not needed. Save $5 to $15 per month.
- Get rebates for recycling refrigerators and freezers. Visit Focus on Energy, or call 1-855-398-5226.
- Use the anti-sweat switch only when needed.
- Window air conditioner. Seal around the unit so cool air cannot escape.
- Central air conditioner. Hose off the outdoor condensing unit to remove dirt and leaves. Get professional service for your central air every two years. Choose a qualified contractor.
- Furnace filter. If it's dirty, replace it. Check every month, more often if needed.
- Dehumidifier. Vacuum dust and dirt from the coils and fan.
- Lawn mower. Replace your gas-powered lawn mower with a nonpolluting manual or electric mower.
- Air-dried laundry. Put up a clothesline for drying laundry outside to avoid heating the house with your clothes dryer.
- Shade. Plant a deciduous shade tree to the south or west of your home to keep it cooler.
- Check gutters and downspouts. Make sure they drain away from the house to reduce moisture around your home’s foundation.
- Use shades and drapes to block out direct sun during the day.
- Cook outside or with a microwave oven instead of a stove. Save money and improve comfort.
- Use a whole house fan, room fans or ceiling fans instead of air-conditioning.
- Set your thermostat to 78°F or higher, if health permits.
- Turn off the air conditioner when no one is home. To control cooling times:
- Use a programmable thermostat for central air. Save 20 to 60 cents per hour.
- Use a timer for room air conditioners. Save 10 to 20 cents per hour.
- Put compact fluorescent bulbs in your most frequently used fixtures and lamps. Fluorescent bulbs put out less heat, plus you will save $30 to $40 over the life of each bulb.
- Unplug second refrigerator if not needed. Save $5 to $10 per month.
- Turn off appliances including computers and televisions when not in use.
- Use exhaust fans to remove moisture from showering and cooking.