What You Can Do

What You Can Do

Use Energy Wisely

With society's growing concern about global warming, the increasing demand for energy, and a focus on reducing our country's reliance on foreign supplies, smart energy use is the right thing to do. It will help use save the environment and reduce the impact of energy cost on your household's budget.

Today

  • Turn your water heater temperature down to 120 degrees F to save energy and reduce the risk of scalding.
  • Set your thermostat back five degrees while you're asleep or away from the house for eight hours or more. Or install an automatic setback thermostat so you won't forget to adjust the temperature. It can slice as much as eight to 10 percent from the amount of energy used to heat your home.
  • Use energy-saving settings on all appliances.
  • Turn off exhaust vents as soon as they've done their job.
  • Clean your oven while it's still warm from cooking.
  • Keep lids on pots to boil faster, and cook several items on your stove at once.
  • Use your dishwasher only for full loads, unless it has a partial-load feature.
  • Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioners.
  • Keep doors on attached garages closed.

This Week

  • Caulk and glaze drafty windows.
  • Buy water heater blankets, low-flow showerheads, fluorescent light bulbs and faucet aerators.
  • Wash clothes in cold or warm water instead of hot. Never rinse in warm – if your clothes don't rinse in cold, you're using the wrong detergent.

    This Month

    • Clean and replace filters on your furnace, air conditioner and heating pump. Replace your furnace filter each month or according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
    • Check insulation in your attic, outer walls and basement or crawl space for the R-level appropriate for your area, and add more if necessary.
    • Insulate hot water pipes and ducts, especially in unheated areas.
    • Seal large air leaks that whistle on windy days, especially around piping and vent openings in sidewalls.

    This Year

    • Replace inefficient appliances with energy-saving ones.
    • Upgrade leaky windows with higher insulation values and/or install storm windows.
    • Plant shade trees and shrubs on the west side of your house to reduce air conditioning costs. Plant evergreens on the north side to block cold winter winds.
    • Consider having a professional energy audit done for more expert advice.
    • Visit the U.S. Department of Energy's website for a free, do-it-yourself online home energy audit.