Expert Tips

HVAC

  • Consider installing a ceiling fan in rooms that are frequently used. Moving air can feel up to four degrees cooler than still air.
  • Routinely check your air conditioner's air handler filter. Clean or replace as needed. Dirty filters block normal airflow and significantly reduce a system's efficiency.
  • Have a programmable thermostat to adjust your home's temperature so you can conserve energy when no one is home
  • During the summer, cool your home at 78 degrees or warmer with the thermostat fan switched to auto. For additional savings, raise your thermostat to 82 degrees or warmer when you're away.
  • During the winter, heat your home at 68 degrees or cooler with the thermostat fan switched to auto. To save even more, lower your thermostat to 65 degrees or cooler at night or when you're away from home.

Electrical

  • Turn off your ceiling fan when you leave the room. A fan that runs all the time costs up to $7 a month.
  • Use power strips to switch off televisions, home theater equipment, and stereos when you're not using them. Even when you think these products are off, together, their "standby" consumption can be equivalent to that of a 75 or 100 watt light bulb running continuously.
  • Grill out more often during the summer. Using the oven in the heat of summer forces your AC to work harder, which raises your energy bill.
  • Consider replacing your traditional lighting with LED lights. LED lights use 75% less energy than traditional lighting, and over the lifespan of one LED lamp, you will save up to $179 when compared to an incandescent lamp.
  • Make sure your refrigerator and freezer door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you might consider buying a new unit.

Plumbing

  • Conserve energy by checking the temperature setting on your water heater. It should not be above 120°F or medium setting on older models.
  • Get your leaky faucet fixed! A leaky faucet that drips once per second can waste more than 8 gallons a day. That's 3,000 gallons per year!
  • Pour a gallon of water into infrequently used drains (including floor drains) to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be snaked to ensure they will carry away water quickly in the event of a flood.
  • Consider replacing a water heater more than 15 years old. (The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made.) Newer water heaters are more energy efficient.
  • Make sure toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush or jiggled to stop the water from running you may need to replace worn tank parts. They're inexpensive and you'll notice a lower water bill.
 

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