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Article Summary

This article is about:

The best settings for your thermostat

Using ENERGY STAR® certified LEDs

Installing advanced power strips

dog sitting in front of a fan

Easy Saving Tips to Use Less Energy

  • Install a smart thermostat for added convenience. This will allow you to automatically raise or lower the temperature settings when you're asleep or away from home. Make sure the thermostat is compatible with your HVAC system and is installed correctly.
  • For Cooling: Adjust your thermostat to 78° or higher when the temperatures start to rise. Set it even higher (80°-83°F) while away from home.
  • For Heating: Adjust your thermostat to 68° or lower when the temperatures start to drop. Set it even lower (62°-65°F) while away from home.
  • Check air filters monthly and change when dirty. Leave interior doors open and don't close vents to allow adequate air flow through your HVAC system. Do not block returns.
  • Periodically check your ductwork for leaks or tears. Repair fallen or crushed ductwork and use mastic (a plaster-like substance found at your local hardware store) to seal leaks.
  • Have your central heating and cooling system serviced annually by a professional. This can extend the life of the system while maintaining optimum efficiency.
  • Upgrade your attic insulation to a minimum of R-38 (12-14 inches), which can help save on heating and cooling costs.
  • Caulk, seal, and weather-strip around all seams, cracks and openings to protect against drafts. Pay special attention to windows and exterior doors.
  • Set your electric water heater to 120°F and visually inspect the unit for leaks periodically. Gas models should be set to "medium".
  • Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR® certified LEDs, which are 90 percent more efficient.
  • Install advanced power strips, which include built-in features that significantly reduce the amount of energy used by your home office and entertainment center devices when not in use.
  • Install a door sweep to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold to prevent unconditioned air from coming in and conditioned air from escaping from your home.
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