- Keep air conditioning
thermostats at 78 degrees or higher during summer months.
- Use ceiling fans,
which allows for setting the thermostat at a higher temperature.
- Use nonessential
appliances such as clothes washers, dryers and dishwashers during
off-peak hours (before noon or after 6:00 p.m.) Wash only full loads of
dishes and clothes.
- Close drapes and
blinds to keep out direct sunlight during hot periods.
- Avoid using
evaporative coolers or humidifiers at the same time an air conditioner
- Run swimming pool
equipment for the minimum amount of time, and during off-peak hours
- Limit the opening of
- Reduce hot, outdoor
air from entering the house and eliminate the loss of cooled air with
weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors.
- Clean or replace the
air conditioner filter regularly to help it run more effectively.
- Check and clean
refrigerator coils regularly, especially during the summer. Dirty coils
on the back or bottom of the refrigerator can make it work harder than
necessary. See appliance owner's manual for maintenance instructions.
- Replace incandescent
bulbs with compact fluorescents, which can last up to 10 times longer
than old-fashioned bulbs, and produce less heat while using only a
quarter of the electricity.
- Turn off lights when
leaving a room.
- Use task lighting to
directly illuminate work areas.
- Install time clocks or
photoelectric cells to control exterior lighting, advertising sign
lighting and some interior lighting.
- Install dimmer or
occupancy switches where appropriate to lower energy use such as in
stairwells, copy rooms, restrooms.
- Insulate the hot water
piping from the water heater to the wall or ceiling pipe penetration.
Wrap the tank in an insulating blanket if the water heater's energy
factor is less than 0.59.
- Reduce use of all
non-essential electric appliances, such as dishwashers and clothes
dryers, especially during the late afternoon and early evening. Air-dry
dishes instead of using the dishwasher's drying cycle.
- Cook outdoors or use a
microwave oven and small appliances like a toaster oven and electric
skillet to avoid heating up the kitchen and adding moisture to the air.
Microwaves use less than half the power of a conventional oven and cook
food in about one-fourth the time.
- Plug home electronics,
such as computers, TVs and VCRs, into power strips and turn power strips
off when equipment is not in use.
- Lower the thermostat
on the hot water heater; 115° is comfortable for most uses.
- Leaking electricity
from electronics costs Americans millions annually. (About $750 million
a year for TVs and about $600 million a year for VCRs.) To avoid the
leaking of electricity, either unplug electronics when not in use, or
plug into a power strip that can be switched off.
- Use as little liquid
as possible when cooking - surplus water requires more heating and
therefore more gas is used than is necessary.
- When cooking, match
the burner to the vessel. Use a small vessel on a small burner. A large
burner consumes 15 percent more gas.