Close the fireplace damper. Unless you have a fire, keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open, warm air goes right up the chimney. Even if there is no fire in the fireplace, there can still be a draft up the chimney. You may consider a fireplace balloon or chimney plug for an even tighter seal.
Clean your dryer. Lint can build up in your dryer hose and pipes running to its external vent, increasing your dryer's energy use up to 30 percent.
Inspect foundation walls. If you have an unfinished basement or crawlspace, check for air leaks by looking for spider webs. A web indicates a draft. Leaks are a sure sign of an inefficient home that can cost you significantly more in heating costs over the winter months.
Use heat to make more heat. Place one sheet of aluminum foil between the radiator and the wall. The foil reflects the heat back into a room helping to lessen the work for your home’s heating system
Lower hot water temperatures. Water heating accounts for 18 percent of energy consumed in your home. Lower the hot water temperature to the warm setting or 120 degrees.
Water heating can account for 15 – 20 percent of a home’s energy use. When replacing your water heater, look for models that have earned the ENERGY STAR or with at least a .62 Energy Factor (EF). A certified heat pump water heater can save over $300 annually. A larger family can save almost twice that amount!
Insulate hot water pipes to save energy by retaining heat in the water that is in the pipes. Sealing and insulating with ENERGY STAR can help save you up to 10 percent on your energy bill.
Trim your energy bill while being a good steward of the environment by installing a door sweep in the garage. Installing a door sweep, or weather stop, on the garage door keep cold air out and warm air in. Estimates show that a knowledgeable homeowner can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs by sealing and insulating.
Keep windows and doors closed to avoid unnecessary heating expenses. Make sure your windows and doors are closed when the heat is on to keep your warmed air in the house. An open window can result in a 20 percent airflow loss.
Weather strip and insulate your home’s attic hatch or door to help keep your home more comfortable and save energy. You can do this with weatherizing materials and insulation or with a pre-made attic cover. You can save up to 10 percent on your energy bill by sealing and insulating your home with ENERGY STAR certified products.
Turning your ceiling fan to a low speed during the winter months will help to circulate the warm air that collects near the ceiling back down around the room.
Most newer TV’s are set to ‘store mode’, a high-energy mode used for the showroom. Switch your television to ‘home mode’ for a better at-home picture and up to 30 percent energy savings.
Close doors and vents of unused rooms in your home. Use less energy by focusing warm air in the rooms enjoyed most by your family.
Change furnace filters each month. Replacing filters monthly ensures your furnace is running efficiently. Have a professional check and clean furnaces once a year.
Lower your water heater temperature. Most water heaters are automatically set to 140 degrees. Lowering temperatures 10-15 degrees, reduces the amount of fuel needed to heat the water.
Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. An open fireplace damper is like leaving leaving a window wide open and all the warm air goes right up the chimney.
Use LED Holiday Light strings for Holiday decorating. LED Light strings use far less electricity, burn cooler and last longer than incandescent bulbs. Happy Holidays!
Weatherize your home: Seal air leaks and properly insulate to save up to 20% on heating and cooling bills, while also increasing home comfort.
Use natural light. Take advantage of longer days to illuminate your home with natural light instead of using artificial lighting.
Outfit your home with ENERGY STAR certified light fixtures. Replacing just five fixtures in your home with ENERGY STAR certified models could save you up to $75 a year in electric costs.
Check your cooling equipment. In preparation for hot summer months, schedule maintenance for all your cooling equipment including air conditioning units and all ventilation filters.
Install a programmable thermostat. A properly set programmable thermostat can help you be more efficient with electric use when asleep or away from home. With proper use, programmable thermostats can save about $180 every year in energy costs to you, the consumer.
Start spring-cleaning. Move any furniture blocking vents and lights or TV’s away from the thermostat. Heat generated from appliances can give a false read to the thermostat, causing air conditioning units to run longer than necessary.
Caulk and weather strip around windows and doors. Check for signs of leakage around windows and doors. Then use caulk and weather-stripping to stop the leaks.ENERGY STAR estimates that homeowners typically save up to $200 a year in heating and cooling costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulation.
Adjust the direction of ceiling fans. Ensure ceiling fans are moving in a counterclockwise direction pushing air downward, cooling the room and ensuring constant airflow.
Clean your refrigerator. Dust and pet hair built up on refrigerator condenser coils causes the motor to work harder and use more electricity. Make sure the coils are cleaned and air can circulate freely. In addition to proper cleaning, keep your refrigerator door closed. On average, a refrigerator is opened 33 times a day. An open door allows warm air in which makes the compressor work harder and costs you more money in electric consumption.
Cover your pots on the stove. Stop wasting energy and time by covering pots and pans to keep heat in while cooking. Trapping heat will increase temperatures in the pan and cooking times can be reduced. For additional savings: match your pot size to your burner size; keep burners clean on gas ranges to ensure maximum efficiency; and use your microwave on occasion instead of the stove.
Consider ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors and skylights if you are building or upgrading your homes. It is important to select ENERGY STAR products that are specifically designed to accommodate Lubbock’s weather patterns year round. Upgrading to these more efficient windows, doors and skylights can reduce your electric bill by as much as 15 percent.
Adjust your thermostat. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees while you’re home and 88 degrees while you’re away.
Reduce usage during peak hours of 3:00pm – 7:00 pm.
Use ceiling fans to circulate cool air in your home.
Plant vegetation around the exterior of your home in order to further insulate it from the weather.
Make sure your windows have covers of some form to block direct sunlight from warming your house during the summer months. If your blinds are open, direct them upwards as this will allow sunlight in to the house while not substantially warming the room.
Replace your heating and air-conditioning filters every three months and check them every month.
Install programmable thermostats to better regulate heating and cooling when no one is in the building and/or room.
Replace your incandescent light bulbs with florescent and/or LED light bulbs.
Use EPA Energy Star rated products.
For more helpful information and tips, and to take the Energy Star Pledge to make your home more energy-efficient, visit www.EnergyStar.gov.