Year-Round Conservation Tips
- Purchase and install a programmable thermostat. When properly used, it can reduce annual energy bills by $100.
- Use compact fluorescent lights. They last up to 10-13 times longer than standard bulbs and use 75% less energy.
- Take showers instead of baths. A five-minute shower will use about 7.5 gallons of hot water; filling a bathtub can use up to 20 gallons.
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
- Choose ENERGY STAR: When purchasing new appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label. The ENERGY STAR rating program, developed through a partnership between the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy in 1996, indicates which appliances are considered energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
- Install water-conserving fixtures, such as showerheads, faucets and toilets.
- Don't leave the fridge door open! Every time you do, up to 30% of the cooled air can escape. The same can be said for your oven.
- Choose a high-efficiency dishwasher - they use 25% less energy than conventional models.
Cold Weather Conservation Tips
- Invest in a high-efficiency oil-fired water heater, which can provide plenty of hot water at a much lower operating cost than an electric unit.
- Upgrade your oil burner - a modern burner can cut costs by 15%.
- Check your threshold for any gaps between it and the door. Use a bottom seal that can be attached to the bottom of the door - it should brush up against the floor to seal up the threshold. It virtually stops drafts.
- Replace any cracked glass in your windows.
- Make sure your ceiling has at least six inches of good thermal insulation.
- Avoid using space heaters. They're expensive to operate, and can be dangerous, too.
- Repair weather stripping and caulking.
- Wrap your pipes, to guard against heat loss and prevent them from freezing.
- Install a water heater blanket for greater heating efficiency.
Warm Weather Conservation Tips
- Clear furniture away from air conditioning vents.
- Cook on the grill to keep cooking heat outside the home.
- Turn the air conditioner thermostat up to at least 78° or higher, or use a programmable thermostat. Turn air conditioners off when no one is home.
- Install reflective window coatings to reflect heat away from your home.
- Change or clean your air conditioning filter monthly during cooling season to improve efficiency and the life of your air conditioner.
- Open windows on cool summer days and nights. A good rule of thumb is not to open windows when the outside temperature is warmer than the inside of your house.
- Make sure the output of your air conditioner is right for the size of your room or house toensure optimum efficiency and comfort.
- Keep drapes, blinds and shades closed during the day to block out the sun.