Homeowner Tips to Save Money & Energy
Keeping cool is important on warm spring and summer days, but so is keeping your cooling bills down. Below are some free and inexpensive tips from the Department of Energy on how to help you save energy and money!
Use your windows to gain cool air and keep out heat
- If you live in a climate where it cools off at night, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
- Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows.
Operate your thermostat efficiently
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling.
- Consider a programmable thermostat which can help make it easy to control your temperature and to maximize your energy savings.
- Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
Use fans and ventilation strategies to cool your home
- If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
- Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
- When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).
Keep your cooling system running efficiently
- Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment.
- Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
- Vacuum registers regularly to remove any dust buildup. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your registers.
Don't heat your home with appliances and lighting
- On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven or grill outside.
- Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Only about 10% to 15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light—the rest is turned into heat.
- Take advantage of daylight instead of artificial lighting, but avoid direct sunlight.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider air drying both dishes and clothing.
- Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home.
Keep hot air from leaking into your home
- Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.
- Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
Lower your water heating costs
- Water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home.
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, but you'll also avoid scalding your hands.
- Take short showers instead of baths to help reduce your hot water use.
- Consider insulating your hot water tank to help reduce standby heat losses by 25%-45% and save you about 4%-9% in water heating costs. You can purchase inexpensive pre-cut jackets or blankets.
Find out more on these topics and many other energy saving tips at energy.gov