Here are some simple and proven tips to help lower home energy bills.
- Follow the 10-10 Rule. Lowering the thermostat in the winter by 10 percent (for instance, from 74° to 67°) for 8 hours can shave 10 percent off your heating bill. Many people do this at night and use extra blankets when sleeping.
- Run the washing machine and dishwasher only with a full load. Use the cold water setting when possible. And clean the clothes dryer’s lint filter after every load.
- Keep the lights off in unoccupied rooms.
- Turn off kitchen and bathroom ventilating fans when not needed. If left on for an hour, they can suck all the heat out of the house.
- During the winter, open drapes, blinds, or shades on windows facing the sun to warm rooms. At night, cover the windows for better insulation. Also keep the windows clean so they can let in the maximum amount of light and heat.
- Make sure furniture is not blocking a heat register. To feel warmer, move furniture away from cold exterior walls and windows.
- Turn off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use.
- Unplug or recycle that spare refrigerator in the garage if it isn’t really needed. This could save up to $150 per year!
- Unplug chargers: Cell phone chargers, camera chargers, battery chargers or power adapters, etc., are drawing some amount of energy even when not in use (and even when not connected to an end-use product). For more information on these “energy vampires” visit www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=about.vampires.
- Contact your local utility company to ask about a home energy audit. Costs vary, but some companies offer free audits.
- Call your local department of social services to ask if they can help with home energy expenses.