Energy Saving Tips for Your Home

​​​Efficiency tips help save energy for your home

​View energy-saving tips that can help make a difference in the amount of energy you use and money you save.

 

 

My Energy Analyzer

  • Try My Energy Analyzer, a free online tool, to help you better understand your household energy use and identify ways to save energy and money.

Thermostats

  • Set the thermostat back by 10 F at night or when you’re away for at least eight hours and you can potentially save 10 percent on your space heating costs.
  • Set your home’s heating and cooling system to work around your schedule with a programmable thermostat. This simple change can provide household comfort, real energy savings and lower your energy bills.
  • Consider investing in a programmable (smart) thermostat to preset your home’s heating and cooling temperatures around your schedule. This simple change can provide household comfort, real energy savings and lower energy bills because optimal temperatures are only in-use when the home is occupied. Replacing your old thermostat with a programmable (smart) model also qualifies customers for a rebate.

Insulation/Air Sealing

  • Buy foam gaskets and install them behind electrical outlets to seal air leaks.
  • Adding or replacing pipe insulation in your existing space heating or domestic hot water system reduces heat loss through the pipes and can result in significant energy savings.
  • Now is a great time to take steps to prevent air leaks by checking and repairing all cracked, separated or missing exterior caulking and weather stripping, especially around windows and entry doors, as well as checking roof and soffit vents for possible air-flow obstructions.
  • Insulating the space behind outlet and light switch faceplates in the walls that separate your home from the outdoors can reduce air leaks, make your home more comfortable and save energy. Look for an Underwriters Laboratories ® (UL) listed fire-retardant plastic foam gasket.

Heating and Cooling

  • Resolve to maximize your furnace’s efficiency. Check the filter and change each month or according to manufacturer specifications.
  • Make your home more comfortable and save an average of 15 percent on annual energy costs when you upgrade your home’s insulation and seal air leaks in attics and other primary heat loss areas.
  • A new, efficient heating system can save you up to 20 percent per year in heating costs. If your forced-air furnace or boiler is more than 20 years old, consider replacing it with a high-efficiency natural gas model. Get rebate details.
  • Keep your home’s windows as air-tight as possible by simply locking your windows to tighten the seal which keeps your home’s warm air from leaking outside.
  • Air leaks in your ducts can account for the loss of up to 20 percent of heated or cooled air in unoccupied spaces such as attics or crawl spaces. Have a qualified heating and cooling professional test your ducts for leaks and seal any leaks that are found to improve comfort as well as energy efficiency.
  • Heating and cooling represents about 50 percent of your home’s energy use. To optimize your heating and cooling efficiency, keep your HVAC system clean including filters, fans, ducts and vents. Clean or change filters monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer during heating and cooling seasons and keep the condensation drain open. And, do not block air circulation from vents or cold air returns with furniture or window coverings.
  • Now is a great time to have your heating and cooling systems tuned-up by a qualified service technician to help ensure safe, efficient system operation.
  • To save energy and reduce cooling costs, take time to caulk areas in and around your home where conditioned air may escape or warm air may enter. These areas include where windows and door frames meet siding; gaps exist between the foundation and your house; storm doors meet window frames (except for the small drain holes at the bottom of storm doors and windows) and gaps exist around utility outlets, outside faucets, vents or fans.
  • To maximize your home’s air circulation and heat production, keep all heat and cold air return registers free of dust and do not block them with furniture or other obstructions.

Water Heating

  • Reducing the temperature setting helps you save energy long-term because water heating accounts for approximately 18 percent of the average home’s energy use. Set your water temperature to no higher than 120 F for energy efficiency and comfort to prevent scalding.
  • Replace your aging water heater before it leaks to avoid the inconvenience of an emergency replacement and gain the benefits of installing a more efficient natural gas model. A new, high-efficiency natural gas water heater saves money and reduces your environmental impact. Get rebate details.
  • Showering accounts for about 40 percent of your home’s hot water use. Of all the energy used for water heating, 9 percent is lost moving hot water from the tank to your showerheads and faucets (even more in large houses). Insulating hot water pipes will reduce the amount of energy lost. Learn more.
  • Get free, easy-to-install energy-saving showerheads and faucet aerators to lower your energy costs and reduce your hot water use without sacrificing comfort.
  • Fix leaky faucets or toilet tanks. A small leak can waste as much as 3,200 gallons of water a year.
  • The energy savings found with the use of showerhead and faucet aerators can be substantial at around 3,100 gallons per year or approximately 86 tubs of water each year.
  • Reducing your water heater temperature setting helps you save energy long-term because water heating accounts for approximately 18 percent of the average household’s energy use. Always turn off running water when possible. For example, when shaving, turn your hot water on and off to keep excess water from going down the drain.
  • Lowering your water heater’s temperature from 140 F to the recommended 120 F can reduce water heating costs by up to 10 percent. After lowering the temperature on the water heater, use a thermometer to check the temperature of water flowing from your faucets.
  • Water heating accounts for approximately 18 percent of the average household’s energy use, so fix those leaky hot water faucets. A small leak can waste thousands of gallons of hot water per year.
  • Replace your aging (10+ years old) water heater before the busy holiday season and avoid the inconvenience of a leaking water heater. Qualifying equipment is eligible for a rebate.
  • Heating up hot water for your dishwasher uses a lot of energy. To cut down on energy use, run only full loads and let your dishes air-dry. Air drying can save 15 to 50 percent on energy use. ENERGY STAR® –certified dishwashers use less water than hand-washing.
  • A natural gas tankless water heater can be more efficient than a storage tank model since it only heats the water you need when you need it. Tankless water heaters create hot water “on demand,” reducing the heat loss associated with a traditional water heater.

Tune-ups

  • There’s still time this season for a furnace or boiler tune-up. Ensure safe and efficient operation of your heating system with a tune-up. Help your heating system run more efficiently plus get a $25 rebate for qualifying tune-ups.

Laundry

  • When washing clothes, switch the temperature setting from hot to warm to cut your energy use in half. Reduce energy use even more by using the cold cycle since water heating consumes about 90 percent of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. And, always wash with a full load of laundry because half loads use almost as much energy.
  • Conventional washers manufactured before 1998 are especially inefficient. If you have one, consider an upgrade to a new, efficient washer. Newer models spin more water out of clothes so your dryer won’t have to work as hard. They can handle larger loads and are gentler on your clothes, too.
  • Upgrade to ENERGY STAR®-certified clothes washers and natural gas clothes dryers to save energy and money on your laundry. Certified dryer models use up to 20 percent less energy than conventional models and certified washers use 35 percent less water compared to other models. Learn more.
  • When washing clothes, use warm or cool water instead of hot and save up to 50 percent on the cost of water heating.
  • Remember to clean your dryer screen before each new load because a clogged dryer lint screen increases drying time, uses more energy and can be a fire hazard!
  • Save energy and money by upgrading to ENERGY STAR® clothes washers and natural gas clothes dryers. Certified dryer models use up to 20 percent less energy than conventional models and certified washers use 35 percent less water compared to other models. Learn more.
  • Washing clothes uses a lot of energy, especially if you use warm or hot water. About 90 percent of the energy is used just to heat the water. To save on water heating costs, wash your clothes in cold water.
  • Wash only full loads of clothes; see owner’s manual on loading.

Cooking

  • When using your natural gas oven, limit opening the door. The temperature can drop by as much as 50 F, wasting energy each time the door is opened. Also, consider grilling/cooking outdoors in the summer to avoid heating the kitchen. Efficient cooking appliances use up to 20 percent less energy than standard models. When buying new appliances, consider a gas stove with electric ignition.
  • When using your range, choose the burner size that most closely matches the size of your skillet or pan for the most efficient cooking. Also, in hot weather, consider cooking outside on your natural gas grill to avoid heating up your home.

Fireplaces

  • Traditional fireplaces contribute to heat loss and increased energy use by pulling heated air out of your home and up the chimney. To make your home comfortable and cozy during cold weather months, install a natural gas direct-vent fireplace, insert or freestanding stove with electronic ignition. A natural gas fireplace reduces up to 99 percent of the amount of pollutants and particles emitted into the air by wood-burning units.
  • When not in use, keep your fireplace damper closed and if you use your fireplace, extinguish any smoldering embers before closing the damper. If you have an unused fireplace, block off the chimney with a piece of rigid insulation that fits snugly into the space.

ENERGY STAR

  • The Department of Energy tests the efficiency of many home appliances and building materials and the best earn the official ENERGY STAR® label. This program saves millions of dollars for American households every year as ENERGY STAR-certified products use as much as 65 percent less energy than standard models. The ENERGY STAR label can be found on efficient models of clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers, heating and water heating systems and more.

Low-Cost, No-Cost Tips

  • Close the curtains in the evening to keep heat inside; open curtains to allow southern exposure sunlight to warm your home and/or close curtains to cool your home in warmer months.
  • Radiators near exterior walls can lose a lot of their heat through the walls. Easy-to-install heat-resistant radiator panels reflect heat back into the room and can reduce heating costs by 10 percent.
  • Run your ceiling fan in reverse mode on a low-setting in the winter to move warm air that rises down and more evenly through a room.
  • Move furniture away from all forced-air vents so air can effectively travel out of the vent and is not blocked.
  • Install free energy-saving showerheads and faucet aerators to lower your energy costs and reduce your hot water use without sacrificing comfort. Get details.
  • Now is a great time to take steps to prevent air leaks by checking and repairing all cracked, separated or missing exterior caulking and weather stripping, especially around windows and entry doors, as well as checking roof and soffit vents for possible air-flow obstructions.
  • Buy foam gaskets and install them behind electrical outlets to seal air leaks.
  • Keep your home’s windows as air-tight as possible by simply locking your windows to tighten the seal which keeps your home’s warm air from leaking outside.

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