Electricity works hardest to heat and cool our homes. Here are some simple tips to help reduce your energy use.
If you have air conditioning, set your thermostat to 78 degrees.
Block sunlight entry to your home with curtains and shades.
Open windows at night then close by mid-morning to hold in cool air.
Turn off lights, appliances, televisions and computers when not in use.
Wash full loads of clothes in cold water and dry outdoors.
Cancel the drying cycle on your dishwasher and let items air dry.
Plant shade trees on the west and south sides of your house. Use trees that lose their leaves in winter so you can benefit from solar gain through windows.
Have your A/C or heat pump serviced regularly to maintain its best efficiency and capacity. Check furnace filters often.
Set your home's thermostat at 68 degrees.
Check the weather stripping on exterior doors and windows. Adjust or replace it if you can see light around the door.
Replace incandescent lighting with compact fluorescent bulbs and fixtures.
Use timers, photo cells and motion sensors to reduce the operating hours of interior or exterior lights left on for security purposes.
Close drapes in the evening and on overcast days to help retain heat. Make sure drapes don't obstruct heat registers.
Make sure your foundation vents are closed. If your vents do not close, taping a piece of plastic on the outside will help considerably. This will keep your home warmer and help protect against frozen water pipes.