Energy-saving tips for your home
Saving energy doesn't have to be a challenge—you can take simple steps every day to manage your home's energy use!
- Set the thermostat to 68°F or lower when you're at home and awake, and lower 7°F to 10°F when you're asleep or away. Install and properly set a programmable thermostat to make this happen automatically.
- If you have baseboard heaters, turn the thermostat down or off in unoccupied rooms and close the door. Do not do this if you have a furnace or heat pump.
- Have your heating system inspected regularly by a professional to ensure it's not only operating efficiently, but safely, too.
- Clean or replace your furnace or heat pump filters regularly throughout the heating season— about every two months.
- Keep areas in front of baseboard and wall heaters, room registers and return air grills clean and clear of furnishings, curtains or other objects that block air flow.
- Use inexpensive weather-stripping and door sweeps to reduce air leaks around entry doors. For a no-cost fix, roll up a bath towel and hold it against the bottom of the door with a weight.
- Fill, patch or caulk holes in floors and ceilings connected to unheated spaces. Often, large holes can be found in closets. Weather strip or temporarily seal access doors or hatches leading to unheated upper floors or attics.
- Check that your floors, walls, duct system and attic ceiling are properly insulated.
- Set the water heater thermostat to 120°F or the "low" setting.
- Find and fix leaks in fixtures and pipes. If your water heater is leaking, replace it.
- Install inexpensive pipe insulation on all exposed hot water pipes and on the first three feet of exposed cold water pipe that is connected to the water heater.
- Wash clothes in cold water and take shorter showers.
- Use the dishwasher rather than hand-washing dishes and don't pre-rinse dishes.
- Install low-flow, high-performance showerheads and faucet aerators.
- Replace incandescent lighting with ENERGY STAR® qualified compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and fixtures, particularly in areas you use most. They use up to 75 percent less energy while lasting 10 times longer.
- Choose the right bulb for each room. CFL bulbs come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit nearly every household fixture.
- When they do finally burn out, properly recycle CFL bulbs for free at participating retail locations, household hazardous waste facilities and select PSE offices.
- Avoid over-drying laundry and clean the lint filter every time you use it to decrease drying time.
- Think about whether you need that second fridge or freezer in the garage or basement. Older units can cost more than $100 a year to power.
- When cooking, match pots and pans to the right-sized burner. Use a microwave oven, rather than your stove, to heat food whenever possible.
- Many electronics draw power even when turned off. Plug items like TVs, DVD players and game consuls into power strips that you can switch off when not in use. Special "smart" power strips do this automatically.
To learn more or for personalized advice, call a PSE Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.