High energy consumption hurts the environment and your wallet. Here are suggestions to help you reduce energy consumption in your household.
- Clean or replace heater and air conditioner filters regularly. Keep outside vents free of leaves or debris that may clog vents.
- Write the date on the filter, so you remember when you last changed it.
- When the heat is on, set your thermostat as low as you feel comfortable. You save for each degree you lower the average temperature of your home.
- Close doors to seldom-used rooms and turn off heat or air conditioning in these areas.
- Keep windows near your thermostat tightly closed; otherwise, your furnace will not shut down even after the rest of the house is heated to the desired temperature.
- If you have oil heat, check the firing rate periodically.
- Dust and vacuum radiator surfaces frequently. Dust and grime impede the flow of heat.
- Keep drapes and shades open in sunny windows; close them at night.
- For comfort in cooler indoor temperatures, use the best insulation of all — warm clothing.
- Keep your cooling system well-tuned by a professional service person.
- Clean or replace air-conditioner filters regularly.
- Set your air-conditioner thermostat as high as you feel comfortable.
- If you have window air conditioners, turn them off when a room will be vacant for a few hours. Use a fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner.
- Keep out daytime sun with blinds or shades.
- Dress appropriately for the warmer indoor temperatures.
- Open the windows and use a fan on warmer days.
Smart Appliance Use
- Use large appliances in the early morning and late evening (off-peak hours).
- Keep range top burners and reflectors clean so your stove operates at peak efficiency.
- When using an oven or an electric burner, turn it off slightly before the cooking is done. The oven or element will stay hot after you turn it off.
- When you have a choice, use the range top instead of the oven.
- Scrape dishes before loading them into the dishwasher so you won't have to rinse them.
- Let your dishes air dry.
- Air dry clothes when possible on racks or clothing lines.
- Minimize hot water use by taking shorter showers.
- Set your water heater at 120 degrees.
- Take showers rather than baths. Showers use about a third as much water.
- Take shorter showers; consider using a timer.
- Avoid leaving the water running while shaving or brushing teeth.
- Don't use the toilet as a trash can.
- Use the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.
- Don't run water continuously for vegetable and dish washing.
- Water lawns in the morning to avoid evaporation.
- Keep grass at least 2 inches high to shade roots.
- Use mulch or ground-covering plants to prevent excessive evaporation.
- Use waste water from the house to water your garden.
- Plant native or drought-tolerant plants.
- Water trees slowly, deeply and infrequently to encourage deep rooting. A slow drip for an hour once a week should be sufficient for most trees.
- Use a broom rather than the hose to clean off walkways, patios and other outdoor areas.
- Use a bucket of water or a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle when washing your car instead of letting the hose run.
Reduce the amount of garbage you generate by buying and using products wisely:
- "Precycle" by purchasing products in recyclable reusable containers.
- Purchase foods in bulk or concentrate.
- Avoid non-reusable nor easily recyclable products.
- Make two-sided photocopies.
- Use cloth rather than paper towels.
- Remove your name from mailing lists to stop unwanted junk mail.
- Reuse product whenever possible.
- Start a compost pile with leaves and grass clippings.
- Leave a coffee mug or two at work and avoid using disposable cups.
- Use blank back sides of used paper for scratch work.
- Purchase high-quality used items instead of new ones.
- Bring a reusable grocery bag to the store.
- Mend clothes and repair broken items.
- Invest in reusable products, such as cloth towels, sponges, glass dishes, metal eating utensils and rechargeable batteries.
- Drop off used motor oil, antifreeze and car batteries at places that recycle automotive wastes.
- Donate clothing, books, toys, appliances and furniture to charitable organizations.