9 Tips to Save Energy Today
Use a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats help save money and keep your home comfortable by automatically adjusting your temperature setting while you are asleep or away. In heating mode, lower your thermostat by 1°F for eight hours to save about 1 percent on your heating bill. In cooling mode, each degree you set your thermostat above 75°F will save you about 3 percent.
Conserve hot water
Water-saving shower heads and faucet aerators can cut hot water use in half without sacrificing quality performance. A family of four can save up to 14,000 gallons of water a year, as well as the energy required to heat it. It’s also smart to use a five-minute shower timer to assist in developing energy-efficient habits.
Maintain your gas range
Keep burners clean to improve efficiency. Blue flames mean good combustion—yellow flames mean you may need service to ensure the gas is burning efficiently.
Don’t waste energy on dish duty
An ENERGY STAR® qualified dishwasher uses 25 percent less energy primarily by using less hot water. You can conserve additional energy by running your dishwasher only when full, scraping dishes instead of rinsing them, and air-drying dishes.
Use your window coverings
Take advantage of the sun’s heat in winter by keeping drapes open during the day and closed at night. In warm weather, close window shades and drapes to keep out the summer sun.
Wash your clothes the efficient way
Choose an ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washer, which uses 30 percent less energy and 50 percent less water per load. You can conserve additional energy by washing clothes in cold water when possible, washing only full loads, and air-drying clothes. If you need to use the dryer, be sure to clean the lint filter after every load and don’t over-dry your clothes.
Seal air leaks
Cold air leaking into your home in the winter and out of your home in the summer can waste a lot of energy and money. If you own your own home, seal and caulk leaky doors, add insulation, and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers. And be sure to close the fireplace damper when not in use.
Maintain your heating system
Have your furnace cleaned and checked regularly so it can operate the way it was designed. Replace the filter in your furnace monthly, and make sure the supply and return registers aren’t obstructed. If you are looking to replace your current system, a high-efficiency furnace is a smart choice for long Illinois winters. Choose one with an annual fuel utilization (AFUE) of at least 92 percent— you will save energy and money for years to come.
Turn down the water heater
Set your water heater temperature to 120°F. This will be hot enough to meet your household needs without danger of scalding. Each 10°F reduction in water temperature can save up to 5 percent on your water heating costs. While on vacation, lower your water
heater temperature to below 115°F.