A few simple steps can go a long way toward increasing the energy efficiency of your home and reducing your energy costs. Read through the list below for simple steps that you can take to begin saving money today:
- Be sure faucets are turned off completely.
Fix any leaky faucets immediately
- Install water saving shower heads
- Lower the water temperature setting on your water heater
- Caulk cracks and holes in your windows or install weather stripping
- On sunny winter days, let the sun warm your house by opening window shades and blinds. Be sure to close them again at night.
- Install insulating window treatments
- Move furniture away from the heat source. Blocking the heat source makes the system work harder.
- Turn down your thermostat
- Be sure to turn off your heat when you open your windows
- Consider a programmable thermostat and set it to lower temperatures at night and during the day while you're away at work.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed when not in use
- Replace or clean furnace filters
- Turn off lights when not in a room
- Replace your bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified lighting. Click here for the ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World program
- Use cold water to rinse your laundry.
- Only run the washer with full loads
- Only use maximum washing time for highly soiled clothing.
- If your clothes dryer has one, use an automatic cycle.
Cooking and Cleaning
- Use cold water when running your garbage disposal
- Don't open the oven more than necessary when cooking as this allows heat to escape
- Don't let your refrigerator or freezer door stand open
- Allow your dishes to air dry in the dishwasher
- Run your dishwasher only with full loads
- Where possible, sweep with a broom rather than running a vacuum cleaner
- Don't allow the water to run while cleaning. Instead, fill a bucket with warm soapy water and carry it with you.
- Tune up your furnace to save $10 a month, or replace an 80% efficient furnace with one 90% efficient or more and save $33 a month.
- Install a programmable thermostat, lowering the setting 6-8 degrees at night and when no one's home, and save $18 a month.
- Caulk and weatherstrip to keep warm air indoors and save $15 a month.
- Dry only full loads of laundry and save $7 a month.
- Lower your water heater setting to 120 degrees and save $10 a month.
- Wrap your hot water tank with an insulating water heating blanket and save $6 a month.
- Choose energy-efficient windows when you need to replace them and save $28 a month.
- Always choose ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and save $75 a month.
*Savings will vary by home. Data based on 1,800 square foot home. Estimates are for Oct 15-April 15, 2006 heating season.
- Use exhaust fans wisely. In just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed air.
- Want more information on how to improve the energy efficiency of your home? Take the Home Report Card Quiz.
Change a Light
ENERGY STAR is encouraging every American to change out their 5 most used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified lighting. This simple change will save you more than $60 of energy costs each year. If every American family made this "5 light change" together we'd keep more than one trillion pounds of greenhouse gasses out of the air.
For more information on this program, visit the ENERGY STAR web site.
For more information on energy efficiency in your home, visit one of the sites listed below: