Usage and Safety 
living areas

Try these low- or no-cost tips to boost your household’s energy efficiency:

Heating Your Living Areas 

  • Lower your thermostat at night either manually or automatically with a setback thermostat.
  • Weatherstrip windows near your thermostat and keep them tightly closed. A cold draft across the thermostat will turn your heating system on unnecessarily.
  • Keep heating supply and return registers and radiators clean and unobstructed by furniture and draperies.
  • Close all heat registers in unused rooms. (CAUTION: To protect pipes in these rooms, make sure the temperature stays above freezing.)
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use.
  • To keep air from leaking under a door, roll up a small rug and place it across the bottom of the doorway.
  • Open draperies on south-facing windows during the day to let in free heat from the sun and close them at night or on cloudy days to keep the heat in.

Cooling Your Living Areas

  • When using air conditioning, only cool the rooms you need. Close doors to other rooms.
  • Turn your air conditioner off when you leave home.
  • Help keep your home and yourself cool by using natural ventilation and wearing light clothing.
  • Close your draperies and shades on hot, sunny days to reduce solar heat build-up.
  • Close windows and doors during the hottest parts of the day.

Lights and Appliances

  • Turn off unused lights, stereos, televisions, computers, etc.
  • During the day, use as few lights as necessary. Let daylight do the work.
  • Keep light bulbs and shades dust-free. Dust absorbs light.
  • Use three-way bulbs where possible and choose the wattage or amount of light for your needs.
  • Use a concentrated light for tasks like reading, sewing or cooking.
  • Use fluorescent, rather than incandescent, fixtures and bulbs where possible. Fluorescent lights are three to four times more energy efficient.
  • Consider energy efficiency by painting walls and ceilings light colors. Light colors reflect rather than absorb light, thus reducing the need for extra lighting.
  • With incandescent lighting, use one high-wattage bulb rather than several low-wattage bulbs. Replace on-off switches with solid-state dimmer switches to better control lighting and efficiency.

did you know? 

Each degree above 75 on your air conditioner dial saves you 3% of the energy used to cool your home.