In the living areas


  • Set the thermostat back by 7-10 F at night or when you’re away for at least eight hours and you can potentially save 10 percent on your heating costs. (Source: DOE)
  • Consider investing in a 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.
  • Set the thermostat's fan setting to 'auto' to save money and potentially help humidity levels.
  • You can use the 'hold/vacation/permanent' setting to keep your home at a consistent, energy-efficient temperature while you're gone for extended periods of time. Do not use this setting to adjust the day-to-day temperature to a comfortable level.


  • On sunny days, open draperies and blinds to let in the sun's warmth.
  • Close draperies and blinds at night to insulate against cold air outside.
  • If you have storm windows, be sure they are installed during the heating season.

Insulations and air sealing

  • Buy foam gaskets and install them behind electrical outlets to seal air leaks.
  • Adding or replacing pipe insulation in your existing 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.

Heating and cooling

  • Now is a great time to have your heating and cooling systems tune up by a qualified service technician to help ensure safe, efficient system operation.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

In the kitchen


  • When using your oven, limit opening the door. The temperature can drop by as much as 50 F, wasting energy each time the door is opened.
  • 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 using your range, choose the burner size that most closely matches the size of your skillet or pan for the most efficient cooking.
  • Only run the vent hood for as long as is needed. You do not want to be venting out cooled air into the atmosphere.



  • 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.

Showerheads and faucets

  • Install water-flow restrictors in showerheads and faucets.
  • Repair leaky faucets. A leak that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes wastes 3,280 gallons of water a year.

Water heating

  • Reducing the temperature setting helps you save energy because water heating accounts for approximately 20 percent of the average home’s energy use. Set your water temperature to less than 120 F for energy efficiency and to prevent scalding.
  • Water heating accounts for approximately 18 percent of the average household’s energy use, so fix those leaky faucets. A small leak can waste thousands of gallons of hot water per year.
  • Make sure your pipes are wrapped with insulation, so that the water does not lose heat when transferring to different parts of your home.


  • When washing clothes, use warm or cool water instead of hot and save up to 50 percent on the cost of water heating. (Source: Energy Star®)
  • 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.
  • Dry several loads one after another. It takes less energy to bring the dryer to the required temperature each time.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside to carry moisture-laden air out of your home. Flexible venting is not recommended; it tends to obstruct airflow and collects lint in its grooves.