Long-Term Savings For Homes
AC & HEAT
- Do not use humidifiers or swamp coolers with the AC.
If your AC or heater is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a more efficient model.
- Newer models use up to 40% less energy.
- When replacing your air conditioner, make sure it is sized correctly for your home. An over-sized air conditioner performs less efficiently and effectively than a properly sized unit.
- Consider installing a whole-house fan for better circulation.
Maintain your AC and heater so they work efficiently.
- Check your air or furnace filters every month when in use. Replace them at least every three months.
- If you can, have your HVAC unit inspected and maintained in the spring and or fall by a licensed professional.
- Wash the outside coils of your AC. Clear away high grass, leaves and any other debris that could block the flow of air.
- Add trees and shrubs on the east, west, and south sides of your home to keep it insulated naturally.
COMPUTERS, APPLIANCES & ELECTRONICS
- Set your computer and monitor to sleep when idle for more than a few minutes.
- Don't use screen savers. They prevent computers and monitors from going into power-saver mode.
- Make sure the dryer air vent outside your house is properly sealed.
- If your washer is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with a new ENERGY STAR certified washer. Energy use for clothes washers has dropped by 70% since 1990.
- When replacing your clothes dryer consider purchasing a dryer with an ENERGY STAR label.
- Check light sockets for the recommended bulb wattage for each lamp or light. Don’t use a higher-wattage bulb. It wastes energy, and it can be a fire hazard. If you need more light, consider using an ENERGY STAR certified LED lightbulb or CFL bulb that produces more light with lower wattage.
ELECTRIC WATER HEATER
- Consider insulating your hot water heater if it is warm to the touch. This reduces heat loss and can save 7% - 16% per year on heating costs. Insulating your hot water pipes can save 3% - 4% on heating costs.
- Repair leaks on warm-water faucets. These leaks just drain your water heater, which means it has to heat more water. That process costs you more.
- Drain your hot water tank regularly to remove sediment.
- If buying a new water heater, consider a tankless unit. These systems are 35-45% more efficient. Plus, you'll never run out of hot water.
WINDOWS, DOORS & INSULATION
- Save up to 10%-20% on heating and cooling costs by caulking windows and weather-stripping doors.
- Upgrade to energy-efficient windows.
- Add solar screens or window tint.
- Check your ducts for leaks and seal them if needed.
- Make sure your attic has proper ventilation and high R-value insulation. This will help your AC be more efficient and keep more cool air inside your home.
- Use heavy-duty, clear plastic film on the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months.
- Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty.
HOME ENERGY AUDIT
- Consider a professional home energy audit to evaluate steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient.
- For a do-it-yourself audit, check out the Home Energy Saver website.
INCENTIVES FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLES
- The Federal Government offers tax incentives for renewable energy.
- Texas residents can check with their local utility providers, as some offer incentives for participation in energy efficiency programs designed to reduce energy consumption and energy costs.