Be smart about your home’s energy use. Here’s a room-by-room guide to help you identify ways you can reduce energy consumption.
- Use only the necessary water level and temperature for the clothes you are washing.
- Dry only full loads of clothes, and take advantage of the heated drum by drying several loads back-to-back.
- Load washer to capacity. Washing one large load will take less energy than washing two small or medium loads.
- Clean the dryer filter after each use. A clogged filter will restrict air flow and reduce dryer performance.
- Place lids tightly on pans to speed cooking time.
- Keep oven door closed while cooking to prevent heat loss. With each opening, the oven loses about 20 percent of its heat.
- Preheat your oven only if the recipe calls for it.
- Use glass or ceramic pans in your oven. You can turn down the temperature about 25 degrees, and foods will cook just as quickly.
- Use a stopper in the sink so water won’t run constantly while you’re washing dishes by hand.
- Limit the “rinse hold” feature on your dishwasher. This setting uses up to seven gallons of hot water for each use.
- Only operate dishwashers when they are fully loaded.
- Repair leaky faucets.
- To reduce cooking time, defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator first.
- Warm air rises, so use registers to direct warm airflow across the floor.
- Close off doors and vents in unused rooms to conserve heat within your home.
- During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to let sunlight in. Be sure to close draperies and shades at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
- Remove dust and lint from return air grills and warm air outlets.
- Add extra blankets to your bed for more warmth.
- Move furniture away from windows. It’s warmer to sit near an interior wall.
- Close off heating vents (no more than 1/3 of them) in unused rooms.
- Close fireplace damper when not in use.
- Don’t open outside doors unless necessary.
- If you don’t use a programmable thermostat, lower it at night while sleeping.
- Install shower heads and faucets with water-flow restrictors.
- Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household. You use 15 to 25 gallons of hot water for a bath but less than 10 gallons during a five-minute shower.
- Use a stopper in the sink so water won’t run constantly while shaving or brushing your teeth.
- Repair leaky faucets.
- Turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120° F.