TIPS FOR ENERGY & WATER EFFICIENCY
- Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower in the winter and 78 degrees or higher in the summer.
- Adjust air conditioning and heating system temperatures to save energy when you are away for the day and when you are sleeping at night.
- Change air filters every month. Look for air filters with a MERV rating of 6 or higher.
- Tune up your heating and air conditioning system annually.
- Have your duct work tested for leakage. Insulate ducts where they run through cold areas.
- Weatherstrip and caulk around windows, door frames, foundation cracks, electrical outlets, or anywhere where you feel a draft.
- Clean dust and lint away from appliances (heating/cooling unit, refrigerators, hot-water heaters, etc.) on a regular basis so the motors run well.
- Consider moving your extra refrigerator or freezer out of the garage to the basement so your appliance won’t have to work so hard to stay cool.
- Make sure gaskets on the doors of refrigerators and stoves are tight.
- Keep the fireplace chimney damper closed when not using the fireplace.
Live An Energy-Efficient Lifestyle
- Light only the area where you are working, not the whole room.
- Turn off lights and appliances when they are not being utilized.
- Close vents in rooms that are not being used on a regular basis and close the door.
- Choose the stove burner to fit the size of the pan you are using.
- Use ceiling fans in occupied rooms.
- Don’t block radiators or vents – including cold-air returns – with furniture, drapes, or rugs.
- In cold weather, open window shades that receive direct sunlight during the day; close shades at night. In hot weather, leave window shades that receive direct sunlight closed during the day.
- Try pulling on a sweater or wrapping up in a blanket before you turn up the heat.
- During hot months, try to use the oven, dishwasher and other appliances that produce heat during the late evening and early morning.
Tips for Indoor Water Use:
- Use low-flow faucets and shower heads.
- Replace old, large capacity toilets with new, water-efficient models.
- Buy high-efficiency dishwashers and clothes washers.
- Take five-minute showers instead of baths. If you must take a longer shower, consider taking one every other day.
- Avoid letting faucets run unnecessarily, such as when brushing teeth.
- Repair leaking faucets and toilets.
- If you have a dishwasher, do not hand-wash dishes. Even running partial dishwasher loads can reduce water and energy consumption.
Tips for Outdoor Water Use:
- When watering your landscape, use enough water to moisten soil to a depth of four to six inches and then let the soil dry completely before you water again. Watering thoroughly, but infrequently, develops a deep root system so plants can use moisture and nutrients deep in the ground. Water according to moisture in the soil, not on a fixed schedule. Lawns are dry when footprints remain in the grass long after being made.
- Set a timer as a reminder to turn off the sprinkler. Don’t irrigate the pavement; adjust sprinklers to fit the lawn area.
- Don’t use a hose to rinse off pavement; sweep leaves and grass clippings.
- Water in the early morning, from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.
- Mow grass to a height of two and a half inches, using a sharp blade.
- Adjust automatic irrigation systems seasonally. Protect your water supply; make sure irrigation systems have back-flow preventers.
- Separate planting beds from turf areas on your irrigation system.
- Uses drip irrigation or soaker hoses in plant and flower beds.
- Monitor automation irrigation systems regularly for broken heads that need replacement.
- Install rain shut-off devices on automated irrigation systems – you don’t need to irrigate when it’s raining.
- Add compost to soil before planting new turf or planting beds to increase moisture-retention capacity.