Energy Saving Tips
Customers can reduce their energy use and help save money by following some simple tips:
In The Spring and Summer
- USE YOUR WINDOWS TO GAIN COOL AIR AND KEEP OUT HEAT
If you live in a climate where it cools off at night, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air. Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows.
- OPERATE YOUR THERMOSTAT EFFICIENTLY
Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature. Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
- USE FANS AND VENTILATION STRATEGIES TO COOL YOUR HOME
If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect. When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).
- KEEP YOUR COOLING SYSTEM RUNNING EFFICIENTLY
Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment. Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. Vacuum registers regularly to remove any dust buildup. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your registers.
- DON'T HEAT YOUR HOME WITH APPLIANCES AND LIGHTING
On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside. Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Only about 10% to 15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light—the rest is turned into heat.
Take advantage of daylight instead of artificial lighting but avoid direct sunlight. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider air drying both dishes and clothing. Take short showers instead of baths. Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home.
- KEEP HOT AIR FROM LEAKING INTO YOUR HOME
Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home. Add caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
- LOWER YOUR WATER HEATING COSTS
Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
- Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun
Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally
heat your home and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
Many electronics and appliances continue to draw electricity even when powered off. Unplug these energy "vampires" when not in use.
- Use Power Strips
It's easy to forget to turn off electronics when leaving the house, never mind unplug them. Plug items like TVs into a power strip so you can shut off several devices at once.
- Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Kiss incandescent bulbs goodbye and welcome their energy-efficient replacements: compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs. CFL bulbs use about a third of the energy consumed by a halogen incandescent. LEDs use about a quarter and last up to 25 times longer.
- Use Flat Screens and Laptops
Use LCD flat screen monitors, rather than CRT, and switch from a desktop to a battery-powered laptop to use less energy.
- Turn off the Printer
A typical inkjet printer is estimated to spend about half of its time in standby mode. If you turn off the printer instead, you would likely save around $0.50 per year
- Wash in Cold Water
Wash your clothes in cold water to save about $66 on heating cost.
- Always wait for a full load to run the wash
Reducing the total number of loads each year by 25 percent could save you 3,227 gallons of water
- Dry Lightweight Clothes First
This tactic helps build up the heat in the dryer for heavier fabrics.
- Pick Permanent Press
This is the dryer setting that uses the least amount of energy. It's intended for thinner or more delicate fabrics but might be adequate for small loads.
- Dry With a Towel
A clean, dry towel added to a wet load absorbs moisture and could decrease drying time by 25 percent.
Run the dishwasher when it's full and set air-dry rather than heat-dry.
- Use the Toaster and Microwave
Cooking or heating up food with a toaster oven or microwave saves more energy than warming on the stove or in the oven.
- Set the Right Temperature
Keep the fresh food section of the refrigerator set between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer section at 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Don't forget to let hot food cool down
Let hot food to cool down and properly wrap it before sticking it in the fridge. Hot or uncovered foods in the refrigerator create moisture and raise its internal temperature, which puts the compressor into overdrive and wastes energy.