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Check and/or change filters every month. Dirty filters reduce efficiency, increase energy costs and can shorten the life of your system.
Have your system serviced by a qualified contractor every two to three years. If the unit is 10 years or older, consider having it serviced yearly.
See also: Tips on savings in home heating in heating costs under services
- Winter temps should be 68° F and 60° or less while you sleep.
Set the air conditioner at 78°or higher when you're in the house; 85 degrees when you're away. Setting it at 78 can save as much as 15% in cooling costs.
- Portable or ceiling fans can make you feel cooler. When you feel cooler, you can set the thermostat higher. Test shows that most people feel comfortable at 85° if the air is circulating. So set the air conditioner thermostat at 82° and put the fan on low speed. The circulating air makes you feel cooler. When you leave a room, turn off the fan.
- How can you use thermal mass? Just open windows during summer nights or early morning hours when the outside temperature is cooler than the inside of your home. The air cools the thermal mass in your home. As temperatures rise, the cooled thermal mass absorbs the heat. This delays when you need to turn on the air conditioner.
- In the winter, thermal mass works best if the sun shines directly on. The heat absorbed during the day is released slowly into the air and continues to warm the room after the sun goes down.
- Install Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs)
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater. 120° F is sufficient for many common uses. A 10° F reduction can save up to 5 percent on water heating costs.
- A fireplace is usually an inefficient way to heat your home. Its efficiency can be improved with:
- Tight-fitting, closeable metal or glass doors covering the firebox opening,
- A tight-fitting flue damper with a readily accessible handle.
- An older fireplace often relies on indoor combustion air, so it's a good idea to crack open a nearby window when using an older fireplace.
Average Hot water use
Clothes washing 32
Automataic Dishwashing 12
Preparing food 5
Hand dishwashing 4
- A whole house fan can reduce air conditioning costs. It is a high velocity fan that is usually installed in the ceiling of a central hallway within a home. Outside air is drawn in through open windows. The air is then exhausted through the attic.
- Older windows are usually not very energy efficient. You might decide to replace older windows or you can use these ideas to reduce air conditioning and heating loss.
- If you frequently burn firewood, consider the installation of a fireplace insert. This can provide greater heating efficiency. Use only well-aged firewood, which burns hotter and cleaner.
Sierra Club Cool Home Presentation and checklist
Future of Electricity in the Transportation Sector, by Sunil Somalwar
Tips on savings in home heating
Solar Power Systems
U.S. Dept. of Energy energy.gov tips:
- Insulation, Air Sealing, Shades
- Energy Saver$: Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home - brochure from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy page at energy.gov
www.toolbase.org, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's PATH program (Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing)
www.builditgreen.org (click on "green resources" and "fact sheets")
Living Closer to Home at the Missouri Sieerra Club
The GreenSpec Directory (www.buildinggreen.com)
Consumer Report's Greener Choices: Products for a Better Planet (www.greenerchoices.org)
www.epa.gov/pesticides/controlling/garden.htm Integrated Pest Management approach (IPM)
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ at the U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org).
10 Ways for Businesses to Save Energy
Summer Energy Tips at PSE&G
Energy Saving Tips at Sustainable Enterprises
Home Energy Efficiency Guide from the Modesto Irrigation District - Water & Power
Tips on Saving Energy and Money at Energy Right.com
last updated 9 Oct 2007