Save Energy at Work and Home
Use these real-life, simple tips to help you save cash and conserve energy!
- When you’ll be away from home for more than four hours, raise the thermostat 5-10 degrees or more. If you have a heat pump, make sure to slowly increase the temperature to avoid running the emergency heat. Do not turn off your heating system entirely as this may causes the pipes to freeze.
- Install a programmable thermostat and set it to adjust the temperature throughout the day.
- Make sure drapes and furniture aren’t blocking the air supply vents in your home.
- Clean or replace furnace/air-conditioning filters every month.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR® products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the EPA.
- Lower the thermostat. In the winter, set the thermostat to 68 degrees F. If you have a heat pump, make sure to slowly increase the temperature to avoid running the emergency heat. Caution: The elderly, infants, and persons with circulatory problems may require higher indoor temperatures at all times to avoid health problems. Seek the advice of your physician regarding winter thermostat settings in your home.
- Close the damper on your fireplace when you’re not burning a fire.
- If you have a pool, cover it when not in use to minimize heating costs.
- In the summer, raise the thermostat to 78 degrees F. Caution: The elderly, infants, and persons with circulatory problems may require higher indoor temperatures at all times to avoid health problems. Seek the advice of your physician regarding summer thermostat settings in your home.
- Plant deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home to block the afternoon and evening sun.
- Shade air conditioning units with trees or shrubs, helping the unit run up to 10% more efficient.
- Consider placing solar film on your home windows. This can help keep the hot sun out.
- When it’s warm outside, grill out. Cooking outside keeps the heat outside and the cool air inside.
- Draw shades or drapes to block sunlight during the hottest part of the day.
- Save on air conditioning by closing supply vents in unused rooms. (Note: If you have a heat pump, vents should be left open.)
- Remove your AC window unit at the end of each season to prevent heating loss during the winter months.
- Use a fan to help your air conditioner spread cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing energy use.
- Have your cooling system checked by a professional to make sure it’s operating at peak efficiency.
- A healthy lawn is like an additional air conditioner, keep the grass green and lush.
- Lower your water heater to the optimal temperature of 120–125 degrees F.
- Wrap your water heater with a water heater blanket, especially if it’s in an unheated area of your home.
- Insulate water pipes coming from the water heater.
- Install low-flow showerheads and faucets. They’re inexpensive, easy to install and reduce energy and hot water use.
- Save water by repairing leaky faucets. Even a slow leak wastes more than you realize.
- To save on water heating costs, use cold water to wash dishes and run the garbage disposal.
- Take showers instead of baths to save water. Use cooler water to save energy.
Tips 26 - 50
- Turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Install lighting occupancy sensors or timers in rooms that aren’t used often.
- Use task lighting when possible. Focus light where it’s needed rather than lighting an entire room.
- Use three-way lamps. They make it easier to keep lighting levels low when bright light is not necessary.
- Use dimmer switches or timers on lights.
- For bathrooms, hallways or bedrooms consider installing LED night lights equipped with photo sensors to keep them off during daylight hours.
- Clean light bulbs regularly. Grime from cooking and dust can make a light bulb dirty, reducing the light it gives off.
- Replace regular light bulbs with ENERGY STAR® Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). CFLs use up to 75% less energy.
- Consider solar-powered accent lighting for yard and garden.
- When purchasing holiday lights, look for LED lights because they use less energy than traditional light strings.
- Plug home electronics into power strips with surge protection. Turn the strip off when the equipment is not in use.
- Activate your computer’s sleep mode when you leave your desk. This reduces electricity consumption to less than 5 percent of full power.
- Get the kids to turn off the gaming console electronics when they’re not using them.
- Use the energy-saving feature on computers, monitors, printers, copiers and other business equipment. Turn them off at the end of the day.
- Like to fall asleep with the TV on? Put the TV on a sleep timer to save energy when you’re no longer awake.
- Keep your range burners clean (and the reflectors), as clean burners utilize energy more efficiently.
- It takes less energy to reheat meals than when cooking them for the first time. Try cooking larger meals and reheating the leftovers.
- Keep the oven door closed while cooking your meals. Each time you open the oven door, it drops the temperature 25 degrees, requiring more energy to cook your meal.
- When cooking small meals, try using a small toaster oven as opposed to a large conventional oven.
- When boiling water, make sure to place the lid on the pot. The water will come to a boil faster and use less energy.
- Use a pot or pan that completely covers the stove’s heating element. When any part of the element is exposed, you’re wasting heat and energy.
- Consider using a gas range or oven as they cost less to operate than electric units.
Tips 51 - 75
- Don’t keep your refrigerator too cold. The ideal temperature is between 32°-39°.
- Before you open the refrigerator or freezer door, decide what you want to eat so you’re not letting cold air escape.
- Keep your freezer stocked (with food or even frozen bottles of water). Freezers work more efficiently when they’re full than empty.
- Vacuum refrigerator coils often to keep the unit running efficiently.
- Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight.
- Defrost your manual unit freezer regularly. Frost buildup increases the amount of energy needed to keep the motor running.
- If your primary refrigerator is at least 10 years old, consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR® qualified model.
- When considering the layout of your kitchen, don’t place the refrigerator near an oven or other heat source so it will run more efficiently.
- Don’t let kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans run longer than necessary.
- Only wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher and use the energy-saving setting for the drying cycle (or let dishes air dry).
- Fill a dishpan with rinse water instead of letting the faucet run while you do dishes by hand.
- Need a new dishwasher? Look for ENERGY STAR® qualified models.
- Use warm or cold water for washing clothes and always use cold water for rinsing.
- Always wash full load of clothes or adjust the water level for smaller loads.
- Use an automatic clothes-drying cycle instead of a timed cycle. Put in the next load quickly to make use of leftover heat.
- Dry only full loads of laundry and keep the dryer’s lint filter clean so it operates at maximum efficiency.
- Create less heat in your home by drying clothes in the early morning or later in the evening.
- Place the washing machine near the hot water heater because water loses heat as it flows through pipes.
Insulation / Air Leaks / Energy Assessments/Audits
- Conduct an online home energy assessment/audit and get personalized energy-saving tips.
- Consider having a professional energy assessment/audit performed on your home or business.
- Weather-strip and caulk around doors and windows to rid your house of drafts and prevent leaking of heated and cooled air.
- Repair, seal and add insulation to existing heating and cooling ducts to prevent heating and cooling loss.
- Seal around holes from pipes and wires that enter or exit your home’s living space.
- Consider replacing old windows with new high-performance, dual-pane windows.
- Add insulation to the attic. Your home should have a minimum R-30 insulation in the ceiling or attic.
- Need a new roof? Choose lighter-colored roofing to reduce heat absorption from the sun.
- Make sure you’ve insulated around recessed lights, attic doors and other places where outdoor air can sneak into your home.
- Open crawl space vents to keep air moving and the space dry.
Tips 76 - 100
Conservation / Environment (Office)
- Take your lunch to work in a reusable container.
- Be more eco-efficient. Use a mug or glass instead of styrofoam or paper cups.
- Choose energy efficient office machines to reduce costs and carbon emissions.
- Write with refillable pens made from recycled plastic.
- For fax machines and printers, use refillable ink cartridges and recycle old ones.
- Conserve by only printing what you really need.
- Use less paper by printing and copying on both sides.
- When you purchase your next computer, consider a laptop over a desktop as laptops use less energy.
- Save paper, energy and money. Take the time to remove your name from mailing lists for reading materials you don’t need.
- Look into online banking and bill paying which could help lower your carbon footprint and save money on stamps.
Conservation / Environment (Yard)
- Consider electric mowers and trimmers. For smaller yards, try a reel mower.
- Use a rake instead of a leaf blower to tidy up your yard.
- Get a ‘water butt’ or bucket to collect rain water which you can later use to water your plants.
Conservation / Environment (Transportation)
- Walk or ride your bike to work.
- Thinking about a new car? Consider a hybrid vehicle.
- Carpool or use public transportation. If you own a business, encourage carpooling or allow telecommuting to reduce carbon emissions.
- Make an effort to run all your errands at once, eliminating trips back and forth from your home.
Conservation / Environment (Home)
- Turn off running water when shaving or brushing your teeth.
- Take reusable cloth bags with you to the grocery store to carry your groceries home in.
- Try to buy items that are reusable or come in reusable packaging – and make sure to reuse them.
- Use rechargeable batteries; they can last up to twice as long as disposables.
- Look for a dry cleaning service with “clean and green” processes, including reuse of hangers and garment bags.
- When building a new home, consider energy-efficient building materials.
- Look for natural furnishings that have been or can be recycled.