Ideas for Saving Energy Consumption

Heat-Related Energy-Saving Advice

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  • Set your thermostat to 78°F or higher because every additional degree of cooling will result in a six to eight percent increase in energy use.
  • To move the cool air, use portable fans and ceiling fans.
  • To protect your home from the sun, install solar window screens, awnings, and patio covers. To reduce the heat during the summer, cover the windows on the south and west sides with plants or trees.
  • In warm weather, draw inside blinds, drapes, or shades to block the light and heat.
  • Use a clothesline rather than a dryer.
  • Condensers, which are outdoor air conditioning equipment, need to be shaded.
  • If you’re going to be gone for more than four hours on a warm day, turn up the thermostat to 80°F or higher.
  • It won’t cool your house more quickly to set the thermostat lower than usual.
  • Cooking, laundry, and dishwashing are activities that should ideally be saved for early morning or late evening.

Tips for Conserving Energy in the Cold

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  • Set your thermostat at 68°F or less because every additional degree of heating will result in a six to eight percent increase in energy use.
  • Be sure to wear warm clothing.
  • At night, cover yourself with more blankets.
  • To circulate the heat that accumulates close to the ceiling, switch ceiling fans to reverse.
  • During the winter, use insulated curtains to block out the light from windows.
  • Open internal blinds, curtains, or shades during the day to allow the sun to warm your house in the winter.

Basic Energy-Saving Advice


Photo: Regency Lighting

  • Compact fluorescent lights should take the place of all incandescent lights.
  • Always turn off the lights in spaces that aren’t being used.
  • Make sure that the recommended wattage listed on the light socket is not exceeded by the bulbs.
  • It is more efficient to use one bulb with a higher wattage than two with lower wattages.
  • Direct illumination, such as that used for reading, is more effective than lighting the entire room brightly.
  • Regularly clean light bulbs.

Electrified Water Heaters

  • Patch up dripping faucets. Leaks in your hot water system need to be fixed right away because they can drastically increase your usage of electricity.
  • Regularly drain the sediment from your hot water tank.
  • Think about getting a tankless water heater; they’re 35–45 percent more efficient, pay for themselves in 3–5 years, and never run out of hot water.
  • An insulating blanket should be wrapped around the hot water heater.
  • Your hot water heater’s thermostat should be set lower. You can save 3-5 percent on energy bills for every 10 degrees you lower the temperature. Unless your dishwasher has a built-in water heater, in which case 130°F to 140°F is advised for the best cleaning.

Climate Control, Heating, and Ventilation (HVAC)

Photo: Country Living

  • With a filter that has a MERV 11 rating or greater, clean or replaces furnace filters once per month (or as necessary).
  • Ascertain the appropriate system size for your home for your HVAC system.
  • Request a professional to check your HVAC system before the arrival of cooler or warmer weather.
  • Make that the insulation in your duct system is adequate and that there are no air leaks.
  • To improve ventilation and circulation all throughout your home, think about adding a “whole house fan.”
  • Never combine an air conditioner with a humidifier or an evaporator (“swamp”) cooler.
  • Vents in rooms that aren’t being used should be closed.


  • If your dishwasher has an air-dry option, use it. If not, open the door after the last rinse cycle to dry the dishes.
  • Dishwashers and washers should only be used when completely loaded.
  • Keep your freezer and refrigerator filled. When they are full, they run more effectively.
  • Avoid stuffing the dryer too full when drying clothes, and if an automatic setting is offered, use it. If at all feasible, place dry cargo next to one another. Between loads, don’t forget to clean the lint filter.
  • If you don’t really need that extra refrigerator in the garage, unplug it or recycle it. The second-largest electricity users in a home are often refrigerators. Consider replacing your refrigerator if it is older than ten years.
  • Always select appliances with the Energy Star label.
  • Unplug all electrical gadgets, chargers, and appliances while not in use, with the exception of refrigerators and freezers that maintain food’s frigid temperature. Even when they are in “Off” or “Power Save Mode,” they can still consume a significant amount of energy. Consider connecting these gadgets to power strips that have an on/off switch.
  • Make that the outside air vent for the dryer is completely sealed.
  • Keep the condenser coils on the back of your freezer and refrigerator clean.
  • Consult Energy Star for information on the models they have endorsed to consume less energy, save money, and contribute to environmental protection when thinking about buying new appliances.

Extra Advice

  • Ventilation fans in bathrooms and kitchens should not be left on for longer than necessary because they exchange indoor air for outdoor air.
  • Install resilient materials in light colors and add insulation to improve your roof.
  • Place weather stripping around windows, outside doors, and other openings, and fill up cracks.
  • An average household can save roughly $100 a year by using programmable thermostats.
  • Take quick showers as opposed to baths.

Source: PUC of Texas