Tips to Start Saving Energy Today
- Keep warm, not hot
When possible wear additional layers of clothing, consider turning down your thermostat and check your programmable settings.
- Seal leaks around doors and windows
Apply weather-stripping or caulk to seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors to stop air leaks and prevent energy loss. If that is not an option, you can also cover windows with towels, sheets or plastic to help keep the warm air in your house. Seal air leaks in your unfinished basement, particularly along rim joists and sill plates. Add an airtight door to your fireplace to keep heated air from escaping through the chimney.
- Reduce the temperature on your water heater
Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or put it on the “warm” setting. If your home will be vacant for two days or more, set the dial to the pilot position for even more savings.
- Close blinds and curtains
This helps keep warm air inside, especially if the sun is not shining. When the sun is shining, open drapes on the south-side windows to take advantage of free heat from the sun.
- Change or clean filters
A clean filter on your furnace can lower your energy consumption by 5% to 15%. Dirty filters cost more to use and overwork the equipment.
- Hold off on doing chores
Doing laundry and washing dishes can both use natural gas to heat the water and your dryer. If you can, wait until the extreme cold weather passes to complete these activities. If you cannot wait, use the cold setting where possible.
- Install foam gaskets on switches and outlets
Electrical switches and outlets can account for up to 10% of your home’s energy loss.
- Change rotation of ceiling fans
Hot air rises, so reverse your ceiling fans to a clockwise rotation to push that warmth back downward.
Additionally, remember these safety tips during cold weather:
- Never use your stove or oven for home heating.
- Make sure nothing obstructs a furnace’s air intake and that vents and flues are intact and unblocked to avoid the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- When removing ice and snow in the vicinity of meters, vents or flues, do so carefully so as not to cause damage.
- Leave cabinet doors open, especially those on exterior walls, to reduce the risk of frozen pipes.
- Run dryers, dishwashers and other large appliances after dark to limit competition with your A/C.
- Seal doors and windows to keep cool air in and warm air out.
- Check all vents to ensure they’re open, dust-free and directed toward the room’s center.
- Switch to a low-flow showerhead to reduce water and energy usage from your water heater.
- Upgrade to high-efficiency natural gas appliances to save time, energy and money.
The below infographic can be downloaded and printed for easy reference.