The tips below and many others for saving energy at home are adapted from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Savers Consumer Tips website and their Energy Savers booklet . (For a Spanish language version of the Energy Savers page and booklet, visit Ahorro de Energía: Energy Savers in Español.)
Use Air Conditioning and Fans Wisely
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Use a programmable thermostat with your air conditioner to adjust the setting at night or when no one is home.
- Use a fan with your window air conditioner to spread cool air effectively through your home without greatly increasing power use.
- Don't set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It won’t cool your home any faster, and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
- Don’t place lamps or TVs near your air conditioner’s thermostat. The heat from these appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer.
Shade your windows - sunny windows make air conditioners work two to three times harder.
- Close curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day.
- Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
- Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows.
Weatherize - air leaks waste energy dollars year-round
- Caulking and weatherstripping will keep cool air in during the summer.
- Add insulation around air conditioning ducts when they are located in unconditioned spaces such as attics, crawl spaces, and garages.
- If you see holes or separated joints in your ducts, hire a professional to repair them.
- Check to see that your fireplace damper is tightly closed.
For Long Term Savings:
- If your air conditioner is old, the new energy efficient models can save you up to 50 percent on your cooling bills. Look for the ENERGY STAR®.
- Adding insulation and sealing air leaks help your energy performance in the summertime by keeping the cool air inside.
Everyday Tips to To Save Energy
These no-cost or low-cost tips are easy ways to save energy and money all year round.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR-qualified bulbs.
- Air-dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
- Use a microwave oven instead of a conventional electric range or oven.
- Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips and turn power strips off when equipment is not in use -- TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120°F.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
Many of these same tips are also applicable to savings on winter heating tips.