People who want to save energy and cut costs can do several things in order to accomplish their goals. They should make simple changes around the house so that energy isn't wasted.
Clean or change the furnace filter once a month to save energy. When dirt and dust clog the filter, the furnace has to work harder and will eventually break down. Get the house's heating system inspected on a regular basis. Annual maintenance can save on heating bills, reducing them up to five percent. In addition, get a programmable thermostat installed. If the programmable thermostat automatically lowers the temperature ten degrees for eight hours a night, the heating bill will also be lowered by ten percent.
Registers and vents in the home should be vacuumed on a regular basis. Don't allow furniture and drapes to block the flow of air. Use low-cost plastic deflectors to channel air beneath chairs and tables. Close curtains and blinds at night to keep out the cold air. Open the curtains and blinds during the day so the sun can heat the house. Forget about using space heaters; they're expensive to use and dangerous. If a house has hardwood or tile floors, purchase scatter rugs to keep the house warm.
If a homeowner goes on vacation, she should lower the thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.8 degrees Celsius). This saves energy and keeps the water pipes from freezing. There's nothing worse than coming home from vacation to a flooded basement.
Owners wood-burning fireplaces should get them cleaned regularly to save energy. When a fireplace is being used, turn the thermostat down to 55 degrees (12.8 degrees Celsius). If this is not done, the warm air from the furnace will fly up the chimney. This wastes both energy and money. When not using the fireplace, the fireplace dampers should be sealed and the glass doors should remain shut. People who never use their fireplaces should use fiberglass insulation to close it shut, with silicone caulk used to seal the doors.
Other tips to save energy include lowering the thermostat on the hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.9 degrees Celsius). When washing dishes or clothes in the dishwasher or washing machine, always do a full load, and wash clothes in cold water. Air-dry dishes instead of using the dishwasher's heated drying function. Power strips are ideal for any kind of electronics in the home. When a homeowner wants to turn off electronics, she can use the power strip to power down in order to keep the electronics from using stand-by mode. Computers and monitors should be turned off when not in use.
Use ceiling fans to help cool down the house in the summer. During the afternoon and early evening, turn off unnecessary lights to keep rooms cool. A central air conditioner should be cleaned regularly. Set the air conditioners fan to "on" instead of "auto." The "on" function permits the air to circulate on a continuous basis. If the house has an automatic thermostat, set it between 78 through 80 degrees Fahrenheit (25.6 to 26.7 degrees Celsius) when the family goes to sleep or leaves the house.
Use compact fluorescent lighting to save energy. They use less energy and last longer than regular light bulbs. Purchase items that have an Energy Star® label, since products displaying this label have met strict guidelines set down by the US Department of Energy.
Another good way to save energy and cut down on costs is to avoid taking baths. This doesn't mean that people should practice poor hygiene. It simply means that people should take showers instead, since showers use less water and heat. These are just a few ways that consumers can save energy and money in the home. Consulting the local energy provider can give more useful tips to help aid in the goal of becoming savvier about saving energy.