Energy Conservation Tips

12 TIPS FOR THE SUMMER

  1. Keep room temperature at 78-80°, and check the temperature with a thermometer. For each degree cooler than 78-80°, you can expect your cooling cost to increase 7-10% per degree. You may consider installing a programmable thermostat that will raise or lower temperatures in your home to reduce energy consumption when your home is unoccupied, or while you are sleeping.
  2. Buy energy efficient cooling units. The higher the efficiency rating (EER, SEER or COP), the more efficient the unit. CPS recommends a unit with a rating of 12 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ration) or better. Check the energy guide to find out the energy efficiency rating on all new appliances.
  3. Do not plant shrubs right next to your air conditioning unit. Keep a two-to three-foot clearance around the unit to ensure proper circulation.
  4. Buy a unit that is the correct size for your home. Undersized units will not maintain proper temperatures to provide comfort. Oversized units do not filter, circulate or dehumidify the air properly.
  5. Be sure to clean and replace your air conditioner filter every two weeks during the summer. Remember, cooling equipment should be serviced annually, before use, by a licensed and bonded professional service person.
  6. Consider replacing standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, which are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and provide the same lighting output.
  7. Have duct systems checked once a year for air leaks.
  8. Window units can provide less costly single-room cooling than central units. The recommended setting is 78-80°. Check the room temperature with a thermometer to ensure that units are cooling properly. To optimize efficiency, ensure that the unit has proper placement.
  9. For added comfort in occupied rooms, use fans. Fans use very small amounts of energy and help circulate conditioned air. A fan can make you feel 4° to 8° cooler than the actual room temperature.
  10. Install solar screens, solar film or plant trees and shrubs round your home to limit direct exposure to the sun.
  11. Weather-strip doors leading to your garage, patio or any other unconditioned area.
  12. Caulking around windows and door frames on the outside of your home reduces air infiltration.

12 TIPS FOR THE WINTER

  1. Set your thermostat in winter at 68 – 70°, and check room temperature with a thermometer.
  2. Clean or replace furnace air filters once a month in winter. Remember, heating equipment should be serviced annually, before use, by a licensed and bonded professional service person.
  3. Check and adjust gas heaters to a blue flame, and ensure that they have proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  4. Seal cracks around doors to prevent air infiltration.
  5. Raise shades and open curtains during winter to let in the sun’s warmth.
  6. Close the damper on your fireplace when it’s not in use. Remember to open the damper when lighting a fire. Older fireplaces may not have a damper. An inexpensive way to seal your fireplace is to use glass or plexiglass doors.
  7. If your home has pier and beam construction, install skirting around your foundation to help limit air infiltration.
  8. Cover cold floors with rugs or carpet.
  9. Wear several layers of warm clothing.
  10. Caulk around the exterior windows and door frames.
  11. Close doors to rooms that are not occupied. Remember to close exterior doors as quickly as possible when entering or leaving your home.
  12. Install gaskets under the cover plates of light switches and electrical outlets on exterior walls. This can cut down on air leakage by up to 20%.