Energy savings tips for your home
Make sure your heat pump, central air, or window air conditioner is clean and in good working order. Inspect, clean, or replace all filters as needed. Continue to inspect your unit(s) monthly throughout the heating and cooling seasons.
Check your attic insulation. It should be at least R-30. Installing new or additional insulation is something almost anyone can do, and it can help lower both heating and cooling costs. Replacing or upgrading your insulation to R-30 can be the single most important thing you do to control your heating costs.
Inspect your home’s weather-stripping and caulking. If winter or summer weather has caused it to crack and deteriorate, it is time to replace or repair it.
Set your thermostat low in the winter and high in the summer. The lower you set the thermostat, the lower your heating bills will be.
If you use ceiling fans, run them in the up (clockwise) position during the winter months. This will help distribute warm air that has collected below the ceiling.
If you have a heat pump, do not close the vents in any rooms. The heat pump is sized to heat your entire home. If you’re using an electric furnace, resistance heaters, or space heaters, block off rooms you are not using.
Run room air conditioners only when you need them.
Dry only complete loads of clothes, and dry several loads together so you don’t have to pay to reheat the dryer.
Wash clothing in cold water.
Consider replacing short-lived inefficient incandescent light bulbs with long-lasting energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. Although they cost considerably more, fluorescent bulbs last more than 10 times longer than comparable incandescent bulbs and use only a third as much electricity.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, lower your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees. This is especially important if you have young children, because water above 120 degrees can cause serious scalds and burns.
If you do not have storm windows, consider using plastic film to prevent drafts. Many hardware stores sell interior plastic film that, if installed properly, is almost impossible to notice.
If your home has a crawlspace, make sure your floor is properly insulated to at least R-19, and make sure a vapor barrier has been installed to keep humidity and moisture out of your home.
Turn out the lights in the rooms you are not using.
Turn off the TV if no one is watching it.
Set your heat pump thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
Wear a sweater in the winter. This extra layer of warmth allows you to set your thermostat lower.
Use the microwave instead of the oven or stove burners.
Install a whole-house or attic fan for summer cooling without an air conditioner
Install a modern, high-efficiency electric heat pump if your old heating/cooling system is on its last legs.
Install glass doors on your fireplace so you don’t lose your home’s heat up the chimney. Even with a roaring fire, most fireplaces are not energy losers because they also pull warm household air up through the chimney.
Always close your fireplace damper when not in use.
Install motion-activated outside lights. You can’t forget to turn them off.
Keep your whole house cooler in the winter, and use a space heater in the room you’re using.
Wrap and insulate water pipes (especially hot water pipes) that run under your home. NOTE: If you use electric heat tape, do not cover it with insulation unless allowed for in the manufacturer’s instructions. You should use only UL-approved electric heat tapes, and you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation and operation.