Many energy-saving tips require dramatic changes in lifestyle or large investments to produce results. Here are some tips on how to reduce energy use/cost while affecting your quality of life as little as possible and costing nothing.
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning)
Clean your A/C filters
- An A/C unit runs at maximum efficiency with clean A/C filters. This means less energy use and more dollars in your wallet.
Close vents in unused rooms
- If your home has central air, don’t pay to cool or warm rooms that aren’t occupied. By closing vents, conditioned air is channeled to where it is most needed.
Turn down the temperature of your water heater
- Heating water typically accounts for 14-18% of a households yearly energy consumption. On average, this costs between $400-$600 each year. By reducing the temperature from 140°F (the typical preset temperature) to 120°F, you can save up to 10% on your bill, or about $60 every year.
When possible, use a toaster oven instead of a conventional oven.
- With a smaller volume, less energy is required to bring oven up to temperature.
- This is particularly effective if using an electric range.
- Energy/cost saving potential: If a toaster oven is used 30 minutes/day instead of an electric range, energy savings will be about $50/yr
Grill outside in the summer.
- On a hot summer day, the last thing you need is more heat in your house. Most of the heat produced by using an oven is transferred to the house. Your A/C has to work double-time to remove the heat that you just paid to add.