Everyday chores around the house – like cooking, laundry and cleaning – can add to your electric bill. Here are some tips to help reduce your use:
- Stagger pans on upper and lower oven racks. The improved air low allows food to cook more quickly and efficiently.
- Use glass or ceramic pans in ovens. You can turn down the temperature about 25 degrees and foods will cook just as quickly.
- Use a timer. Don't open the oven door frequently to check the food; each time you do the oven temperature drops by 25 degrees.
- Run only a full dishwasher on the automatic energy-savings cool-dry cycle. If it doesn't have this feature, let the dishes air dry.
- Keep your refrigerator closed while deciding what to eat. Each time you open the fridge door, the compressor has to run for eight to 10 minutes to keep the cold inside.
- Set the temperature in your refrigerator between 37 degrees and 40 degrees. Keep your freezer section at 5 degrees. If you have a separate freezer for longer-term storage, it should be kept at zero degrees.
- Vacuum your refrigerator's coils, located on the back or underneath your appliance. Regular cleaning can improve efficiency 15% or more.
- Wash laundry in cold water. Do laundry after 7 p.m.
- Dry clothes outside on a line.
- Wash only full loads in your washing machine.
- Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every load.
- Set the temperature on your hot water tank to 120 degrees.
- Check your hot tub cover for escaping steam. Insulation blankets help keep the tub toasty.
- Keep showers short and use low-flow or TSV shower heads.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Insulate water pipes.
- Set your thermostat between 68 and 72 degrees or lower if comfortable
- If you have a heat pump, to save energy during the coldest weather, try lowering your thermostat by 2-3 degrees when you're going to bed or will be away. In milder winter temperatures (40 to 50 degrees), you may be able to lower your thermostat by 4-5 degrees.
- If you have a furnace, to save energy during the coldest weather, you may be able to go 10 degrees lower than normal before bed or leaving the home.
- Best option: Install a programmable thermostat. Adjust temperature settings according to a preset schedule.
- Let natural sunlight into your home. Open window coverings on south-facing windows. Keep window coverings closed in rooms that receive no direct sunlight to insulate from cold window drafts. At night, close window coverings to retain heat.
- Clean or replace your furnace filters monthly. During non-winter months, every three months is sufficient.
- Find and seal air leaks.
- Check your fireplace. Make sure it's properly vented. Your fireplace will draw heated air from inside your house if there isn't a proper amount of outside air for combustion.
- If you have a ceiling fan, check the option to reverse the airflow. Set the direction the motor turns so you can blow the warm air back down into the living space (or cool air in summer).