Energy Saving Idea Fact Sheet

Energy Saving Ideas


  • Caulk around windows and door frames.
  • Weatherstrip window and doors.
  • Insulate attic floor to R-38 to 44.
  • Provide adequate ventilation for circulation in
    your attic.
  • Seal bypasses (air leaks).
  • Plant trees for a windbreak and sun protection.

Keeping Warm
  • Follow manufacturer’s recommendation for
    proper maintenance of your heating system. When
    not available:

    1. Forced Air Furnace
      – Check for
      proper flue exhaust operation
      – Check flue pipes for signs of rust,
      corrosion or holes.
      – Oil the blower and motor (if
      recommended by manufacturer).
      – Check filters monthly and change as
      – Clean humidifier at beginning of
      heating season.
      – Check ducts and repair leaks or
      separations, insulate if in an unheated
    2. Boiler
      – Check for steam or
      water leaks.
      – Check the water level.
      – Check the pressure.
      – Dust radiators regularly.
  • Place thermostat on an inside wall away from any
    heating or cooling source.
  • Keep thermostat set at 65°F to 68°F during the
    day and 58°F at night or when you will be gone
    four hours or longer.
  • Lower your thermostat setting to 55°F during
    winter vacations or long periods away from home.
  • Keep furniture or other obstructions away from
    radiators or forced air vents.
  • On sunny days, open window shades or draperies to
    let the sun warm the house. Other times, keep
    window coverings closed to insulate against cold
    outside air.
  • Insulate shades or draperies or hang liners
    behind draperies.
  • Keep fireplace damper closed when not in use.
  • Keep basement, garage or attic doors which
    connect with the house, closed if these areas
    aren’t heated.
  • Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans sparingly.
  • Place reflective or foil-covered fire retardant
    boards behind radiators, with spacers between
    board and wall, to reflect more heat into rooms.
  • Close doors to unused rooms.
  • Plug cold air leaks around permanently installed
    window air conditioner. If the grille plate is
    removable, tuck in cloth or plastic to shut off
    drafts; be sure to remove before turning on the
  • Stretch plastic tightly over the inside of
    windows to reduce cold air infiltration.
  • Humidify is necessary. Dry air evaporates skin
    moisture and makes you feel chilly. Adequate
    humidity makes lower temperatures feel more

Keeping Cool
  • Keep temperature difference between indoors and
    outdoors no more than 15°.
  • Shade windows from direct sun in summer with
    awnings and trees.
  • Apply tinted plastic film to windows in summer.
    It reduces solar heat gain and makes lighter work
    for your air conditioner.
  • Keep cooling system clean; this includes filters,
    fans, ducts, vents and thermostats. Clean or
    change the filter monthly during the heating and
    cooling seasons. Keep condensation drain open.
  • Adjust registers to promote upward air flow.
  • Keep outdoor cooling unit clean; remove leaves
    and debris and clean exposed coils with a garden
  • Do not block circulation of air from vents or
    cold air returns with furniture or draperies.

Using Appliances Wisely



  • Preheat oven five to ten minutes for pastries and
    foods that rise such as cakes and breads. It is
    not necessary to preheat for meats and
  • Gas broiling is smokeless; broil with the door
    closed. Infrared broilers to not need preheating.
  • Bake multiple recipes and freeze the extras for
    later use.
  • Avoid opening the oven door; it can cause a
    temporary temperature loss of as much as 50°.
  • Never use your oven to warm the kitchen; it was
    not designed for space heating. Using your oven
    in this way could damage the oven and cause
    formation of carbon monoxide.

Top Burners

  • Cook on HIGH only when necessary. When food
    begins to boil, lower the flame to the smallest
    flame needed to maintain a gentle boil.
  • Fit the flame to the pan size.
  • Cover pans whenever possible.
  • Cook foods in the least amount of water
  • If burner flame is yellow, ports (holes) and/or
    gratesmay need cleaning.


  • The microwave is most efficient for small
    quantities of food–up to 2 cups.

Water Heater

  • Insulate hot water pipes that run through cold
  • Drain a few pails of water from the faucet at the
    bottom every month to remove sediment.
  • Control the temperature setting. Generally,
    120°F is the best setting for most laundry and
    kitchen needs. Unless your dishwasher heats its
    own water, your water heater thermostat must be
    set at 140°F to activate dishwasher detergent.
    120°F also protects against scalding injuries.
  • Fix leaky faucets or toilet tanks. A small leak
    can waste as much as 3,280 gallons of water a
  • Avoid long showers and full tub baths.
  • Install a controlled-flow shower head to cut down
    on hot water use.
  • Run garbage disposal with cold water.


  • When convenient, wash and dry full loads.
  • Use cold water rinse whenever possible.
  • Clean lint filter screen after each dryer load.
  • Dry fabrics only as much as necessary.
  • Vent dryer to the outside.
  • Place dryer in a warm area of the home.
  • Run consecutive loads when possible.
  • Separate lightweight fabrics from heavyweight
  • Use the "automatic cycle" if your dryer
    has one.
  • When replacing, consider a large-capacity dryer.


  • Wash only full loads.
  • Scrape food particles from dishes but do not
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on
  • Keep filter screen clean.
  • Shut off dishwasher before it goes into the
    drying cycle; then open the door and let dishes
    air dry; or use the energy-saver air-dry option
    if your dishwasher has one.
  • Use the proper amount of detergent. Too much or
    too little detergent reduces efficiency.


  • Allow space around the unit for good air
  • Defrost the freezer before ice builds up to 1/4
    inch thick.
  • Set the refrigerator at highest temperature that
    will keep food from spoiling: 40°F for
    refrigerator, 0°F for freezer.
  • Check seal on refrigerator door. Replace if
    necessary. Open and close refrigerator as little
    as possible, especially during hot weather.

Additional Energy Savers
  • Turn off lights and TV when rooms are unoccupied.
  • Keep light bulbs clean. Even a thin film of dust
    reduces their efficiency.
  • Fluorescent bulbs use less energy than
    incandescent bulbs; they give more light and last
  • Cut down on electrical energy use during the
    "peak hours" of 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., where
  • Check the Energyguide labels when shopping for
    new appliances. Improved design and materials
    make new major appliances much more efficient.