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Energy-Efficiency and Water-Efficiency Tips

Visit these other great resources to heighten your understanding of energy efficiency and water efficiency.

By adjusting your thermostat to a warmer setting in summer and a cooler setting in winter, you can save money on your utility bill. Here are eight fun facts you can incorporate in your heating and cooling routine!

  1. Did you know that by adjusting your thermostat just 1 degree, your family can save as much as 1% on your home's heating and cooling costs? Imagine how much money you can save in a year with this small change!
  2. For maximum savings during winter, set your thermostat at or below 70°F during the day and 65°F at night. In the summer, set your air conditioner at or above 78°F during the day and to 80°F at night.
  3. Make sure all the windows and exterior doors in your house are closed before turning on either the furnace or air conditioner. More energy is spent on heating and cooling our homes than anything else.
  4. Can you feel or hear the wind coming in through your windows or doors, even when they are shut? If you can feel a draft, use rope caulk or weather stripping to prevent air from coming in or going out.
  5. Make the most out of the air in your house by installing a fan. In the summer months, the fan should spin counterclockwise to keep you cool. In the winter, put it in reverse and spin the fan to the right. And don't forget to turn it off when you leave the room! A fan cooling the air for an empty room is only wasting precious resources.
  6. Keep the vents in your home clear. It costs less energy to get warm or cool air into a room when the vents are not blocked.
  7. Change the air filters in your home once a month to keep your heating and cooling systems running the most efficiently. Neglecting this necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning and heater performance while energy use steadily increases.
  8. Have a yard? Landscape it with shade trees. You could save at least 10% on your energy bill and contribute to better air quality. Shade trees are both a beautiful and cost-effective way to lower your energy use.

All savings tips are derived from ENERGY STAR® and Energy.gov.

Energy and water are connected. In many cases when you are saving energy, you are saving water as well. It takes energy to heat water, clean water, and bring the water to our homes. Water is a vital resource to our planet and our health. Read on to learn simple ways you can conserve both water and energy!

  • Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
  • Use the washing machine only when you have a full load. For extra savings, use cold water.
  • While rinsing produce or waiting for the water to warm up, collect the water that would otherwise run down the drain and use it to water houseplants.
  • Set the timer and take short 5-minute showers instead of baths.
  • Water plants when it is coolest outside. Just like watering your lawn during the hottest time of day, the water you feed your plants will also evaporate when it is hot outside. Water first thing in the morning or before going to bed at night, and you will have healthier, happier plants while saving water.
  • Install hose nozzles on your outside hoses to prevent water from being wasted. To save even more water, turn off the hose while you wash your car and save up to 100 gallons.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway, back patio, or sidewalk.

All savings tips are derived from ENERGY STAR® and Energy.gov.

All of the appliances in your home cost money to run, but there are steps you can take to cut down on your usage. Stay comfortable and save money at the same time.

  • Use your major appliances, including the washing machine and dishwasher, during nonpeak hours. For example, during summer months, washing your clothes after 8 p.m. may save energy, water, and money. Check with your utility provider to find out what the peak times are in your area.
  • Turn off the dishwasher before the drying cycle and let the dishes air dry.
  • Even if you are using the appliances in your home the most efficient way, they could still be costing your family more money and energy than necessary. Replace your old inefficient appliances with those that have the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR-certified products use less energy and can save your family money in operating costs.
  • Clean the dryer lint trap after every load and wait to do laundry until you have a full load.
  • Save energy tonight by cooking dinner on the grill instead of in the oven or on the stove top.
  • Did you know your small appliances continue to drain energy even after they are turned off? To avoid spending energy on your appliances that are off, be sure to unplug your computer, TV, video game consoles, and other small appliances from their power sources.
  • Do you have an underused or nearly empty refrigerator or freezer? Unplug it until it is being used again and at full capacity. An empty refrigerator actually uses more energy to cool than a full one does.
  • If you have a fireplace in your home, check to see if the damper is open or closed. A damper left open when the heating or cooling system is on will allow heated or cooled air to escape up the chimney.

All savings tips are derived from ENERGY STAR® and Energy.gov.

LED light bulbs save money because they use less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

  • Replace your most-used 60-watt traditional incandescent bulb(s) with the 9-watt LED light bulbs found in your kit.
  • Turn the lights off when you leave the room. If you start to notice that you're frequently forgetting to turn your light off, leave yourself a note right on the light switch as a friendly reminder to yourself!
  • Whenever possible, use natural light from the sun instead of using energy to power a light bulb.
  • Don't forget about the lights on the outside of your house. You can replace exterior lights with LED bulbs to save up to 10 times the energy. Your bill will be lower, and the LED bulbs last up to 20 times longer than incandescents! LED bulbs are also cool to the touch, so they don't pose a fire hazard.

All savings tips are derived from ENERGY STAR® and Energy.gov.