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Energy Saving Tips

Winter

During the winter months, turn down your thermostat from 72°F to 68°F for eight hours a day and you'll save as much as 10% on energy costs. Every degree you lower your thermostat could save you about 3% on your heating bill. Winterize windows with weatherstripping (for all moveable joints) and caulk (for non-moving parts).  Also, install a window kit to the inside of your windows to help keep cold air out and warm air in. Change your heating system filter once a month.Keep baseboards and vents clear of rugs and furniture. Make sure you reverse the direction of ceiling fans so they move warm air down. If the fan rotates in the other direction it will create a wind-chill effect.


Summer

SummerAvoid using your stove, oven, dishwasher or clothes dryer during the warmest periods of the day. Your a/c system will have to work harder to keep your home cool.  Fill your dishwasher completely before running it. In summer months, a dishwasher can add humidity to the air so your air conditioning system will need to work harder to maintain a cool temperature.  Clean the outdoor coils on your air conditioner as often as necessary (i.e., when dirt is visible on the outside of the coil). Clean the a/c evaporator coil and condensate pan every year.  Clean the blower's fan blades.  Clean supply and return registers and straighten their fins.Plant shade trees around your outdoor a/c unit. A unit sitting in the sun can use significantly more energy to cool your home than one in the shade. Install ceiling fans. They use far less energy than air conditioners and allow you to feel cool while keeping your thermostat set higher.


Year Round

Year Round Energy Savings FactsHeating water is the third highest energy expense in most homes. If the water temperature of your water heater is set at 140°F, turn it down to 130°F.  You’ll save a few dollars each month.Washing clothes in cold water instead of hot water can save you about $50 per year.  Another energy saver in the laundry room is putting a dry towel in the dryer with each load of wet clothes. The towel will absorb dampness and reduce drying time up to 33%, saving energy and money. If you have a crawl space, inspect it regularly to be sure that the insulation inside is dry.  When insulation gets wet, its effectiveness is significantly reduced.  Find the source of the moisture and replace any damaged insulation.  Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator every year.  The dirt buildup makes the refrigerator work harder to keep the contents cool and therefore uses more energy.  Check for open fireplace dampers.

It's a Fact

Double-pane windows with a low-emissivity glass coating can reduce heating bills by 34% in cold climates compared to uncoated, single-pane windows.  When adjusting a thermostat manually, remember that the house will not warm up or cool down faster if you set the thermostat past the desired temperature.  Besides, it is easy to forget to turn it back to the normal setting and in the meantime you’ll be wasting energy and money. Consider landscaping your home for energy conservation.  For instance, plant evergreen trees on the north side and deciduous (leafy) trees on the south side to block winter winds and the heat of the summer sun.  Make sure your attic is well insulated.  This step alone can save you 20%-35% on heating costs and up to 35% on air conditioning costs.  Seal any openings with caulk or compressed fiberglass insulation.  Also check for adequate ventilation in the attic through unclogged, screened vents.  If you run an air conditioner, consider adding roof vents (so your attic won’t trap hot air in the summer).  To extend your water heater's life and increase energy efficiency, drain it every six months to remove lime deposits and sediment.Install flow-restricting showerheads.  You can reduce hot water use by as much as 50% without affecting shower pressure. Leave your storm windows on all year long.  They provide valuable year-round insulation.  Storm windows can create substantial fuel savings. Make sure your duct system is sealed.  Leaky ducts can waste enormous amounts of heat and air conditioning, and you won’t know it until you get hit with a huge energy bill. Contact us if you suspect a duct leak.Windows should have ample coverings to provide shade from warm sunlight in summer months.  Draperies can provide added insulation in winter.  Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans wisely; in just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed or cooled air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done the job.


US Department of Energy
NYSERDA