Warmer Weather Energy and Money Saving Tips

Learn more about how to save energy at home this summer:

Use Fans

At night use fans to draw in cooler night air. Close the windows during the day to keep cooler air inside.

Close Window Blinds or Drapes

Reduce heat gain by keeping windows and blinds closed during the day. Open windows in the evening and early in the morning to allow cooler air in.

Delay Heat-Producing Tasks

Wait to do dish washing, baking, or doing laundry, until the cooler evening hours.

Opt Out of an Air Conditioner

Open windows on opposite sides of the house for cross-ventilation.

Use An Exhaust Fan

Exhaust warm air from the kitchen while cooking. The energy used by the exhaust fan is lower than that required to cool the air with an air conditioner.

Relocate Air Conditioner

Room air conditioners work best when kept out of direct sunlight. Install them near shady trees or on the north side of the house whenever possible.

Seal Leaks

Seal gaps along the sides of your air conditioner to keep warm, outside air out.

Clean Air Conditioner Filters

Clean filters regularly. Also make sure to keep the front and back of the air conditioner unobstructed.

If You Are Going To Buy A Room Air Conditioner

Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing appliances. ENERGY STAR® room air conditioners exceed minimum federal standards for energy consumption by at least 10%.

Plant Trees

Shade from branches reduces heat gain.

Stove Top

Use the smallest stove top burner necessary to do the job. Match your pan size to the burner size. For example, a 6″ pan on an 8″ burner can waste over 40% of the heat produced by the burner.

Oven

While cooking, avoid “peeking” by opening the oven door. Each “peek” can lower the oven temperature. Optimize energy use by cooking several dishes simultaneously in the oven or consider using the microwave.

Refrigerator

Reduce your annual energy bill by as much as $100 by unplugging and properly disposing of your unneeded refrigerators. For those in use, keep refrigerator coils clean. Old and poorly-sealed door gaskets can also increase electric use. If you think the door may not be sealing properly, leave a lit flashlight inside; if you see light around the gasket, replace the gasket.

Clothes Washers & Dryers

Use the low- temperature settings on the washing machine and load the washing machine to capacity. Washing one large load uses less energy than washing two smaller loads. When drying, dry full loads whenever possible, but be careful not to overfill the dryer. Or, you can also hang your clothes out to dry. Cleaning the dryer filter after each use can also reduce dryer energy use.

Dishwashers

Operate the dishwasher at full capacity whenever possible. If the manufacturer’s instructions permit, opening the door of the dishwasher at the end of the last rinse cycle can reduce energy consumption by skipping the drying cycle.

Water Heaters

Set your water heater thermostat at the lowest temperature that provides you with sufficiently hot water. If you use a lot of hot water, you may need to set the temperature higher to provide enough hot water for your needs. Efficiency Maine recommends setting heat pump water heaters to 120°.

Select Products With the ENERGY STAR® Label

When buying new appliances for your home, you could save 5-25% in appliance operating costs by purchasing appliances with the Energy Star label.

Turn Off Lights

When you're not in the room, or it is light outside, turn the lights off.

Reduce Wattage

For fixtures with multiple light bulbs consider reducing the wattage on each of the lightbulbs used.

Consider Using PhotoCells For Outdoor Lighting

Photocells are sensors that detect light. Outdoor lights turn on only when it is dark out, saving money during the day.

Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diods (LEDs)

These high-efficiency bulbs can provide the same amount and quality of light as incandescent bulbs. CFLs and LEDs are over 70% more efficient than incandescent light bulbs. Find out more here.

Look for the ENERGY STAR® Label

Energy Star lighting fixtures meet federal energy-efficiency and quality guidelines. These lights also operate at cooler temperatures.

Reduce Phantom Load

Many appliances continue to draw power when they are switched off. These “phantom” loads occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as DVDs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. Plug devices into a power strip and switch it off when the devices are not in use.

Borrow an Electricity Monitor

Kill-A-Watt electricity monitors are available to borrow from your local library. Use an electricity monitor to determine which appliances in your home are contributing to phantom load.

Install Energy-Saving Shower Heads

Select a shower head model with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute.

Repair All Leaky Faucets

One drop per second with a dripping faucet can waste up to 1,661 gallons of water over the course of a year.

Try a Smart Power Strip

Many appliances continue to draw power when they are switched off. These “phantom” loads occur in most appliances that use electricity. Smart strips can eliminate the phantom load draw of household electronics.