- Close curtains and shades at night; open them during the day.
- Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace them with double pane windows.
- Caulk, seal and weatherstrip around doors, windows, places where plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors, and ceilings.
- Insulate your hot water heater and hot water pipes.
- Check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors and crawlspaces to see if it meets the levels recommended for our area. For insulation levels specific to our location, visit www.eren.doe.gov/buildings/wthr_insulting.html.
- One of the most cost effective ways to make your home more comfortable year round is to add insulation in the attic.
- Lower your thermostat from 72 degrees to 65 degrees for eight hours a day and save up to 10% on your heating bill.
- Regularly clean or replace furnace air filters and don’t block the registers.
- Check your ducts for air leaks. First look for obvious holes.
- Insulating ducts in unconditioned spaces is usually very cost effective. You can lose up to 60% of you heated air before it reached the register if your ducts aren’t insulated and they travel through unheated spaces such as the attic or crawlspace.
- Leaks in hot water lines will waste heat, thus causing your electric bill to be higher.
- Preheat ovens only when necessary. Unless you are baking breads or pastries, you may not need to preheat the oven at all. With conventional ovens, keep the preheating time to a minimum.
- Food cooks more quickly and efficiently in ovens when air can circulate freely. Don’t lay foil on racks. If possible, stagger pans on upper and lower racks to improve air flow.
- Always operate your dishwasher with a full load and select an energy saving cycle whenever possible. The dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether it is half full or completely full.
- Don’t use the “rinse hold” cycle on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
- If your dishwasher has a booster heater, turn down your water heater thermostat setting to 120 degrees F.
- Select the air-dry option if your machine has it. If not, stop the machine before the drying cycle begins and open the door to let the dishes air-dry.
- Locate your clothes dryer in a heated space. Putting your dryer in a cold room or a damp basement will make the dryer work harder and less efficiently.
- Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
- Dry only full loads, as small loads are less economical; but do not overload the dryer.
- Dry two or more loads in a row, taking advantage of the dryer’s retained heat.
- Keep your refrigerator or freezer at the following temperatures: 37-40 degrees F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator, 0-5 degrees F for the freezer section. Use a thermometer to check inside temperatures.
- Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers; don’t allow frost to build up more than ¼ inch.
- Keep the doors closed as much as possible and make sure they are closed tightly.
- Regularly brush off or vacuum the refrigerator coils on the back or bottom of the unit.
Weatherization projects insulate and tighten the shell of your home. Caulking and weather-stripping are the easiest and least expensive weatherization measures and can save more than 10% on energy bills. These are projects you can do yourself. Caulking and weather-stripping are most often applied to doors and windows, which account for about 33% of a home’s total heat loss.
Insulation is probably the most important consideration in improving the energy efficiency of a home. Factors to weigh in making a decision about insulation material include insulative value, cost, flammability, toxicity, durability, and availability.