No Cost Measures

  1. Use the “off” switch more often, e.g.:
    • Shut off lights, televisions, chargers, computers and other electronic appliances when you’re not using them; many have a sleep mode which can greatly reduce energy use.
    • When not in use, close your fireplace damper; seal it shut.
    • Remove or unplug unnecessary fridges and freezers.
  2. Use your home’s energy saving features, e.g.:
    • Lower the thermostat — especially at night and whenever the house is unoccupied — as little as 1 – 3 degrees makes a real difference in energy use. If you regularly set your thermostat back at night 10 degrees, you may reduce your heating bill by 10-20%. To avoid mold & mildew problems, keep rooms at 60 degrees or more.
    • Close off and don’t heat unoccupied rooms to more than 60 degrees (unless you have a heat pump).
    • Lower your electric water heater’s temperature setting to 120 degrees; turn it off when leaving for extended periods. For additional savings, consider using a timer.
    • Set refrigerator temperature at 37 – 40 degrees. Clean the coils. Open the doors as little as possible and keep it stocked; it takes more energy to cool an empty refrigerator.
    • Check the seal around your fridge and freezer doors to ensure a tight fit.
    • Wash full loads of laundry and dishes; air dry if possible. Control indoor humidity to prevent mold & mildew.
    • Use a microwave or toaster oven for smaller items.
    • Examine and adjust, if necessary, weather stripping, door sweeps, and thresholds.
    • Take showers; they use 1/2 as much hot water as baths.
    • Consider energy efficiency when landscaping.
    • If you’re cold, put on a sweater or use a blanket.
  3. Maximize your home’s lighting potential: e.g.:
    • Move floor lamps into the corners of your rooms.
    • When painting inside, choose light colors; they reflect light.
    • In warmer months, use daylight for lighting.
    • During the heating season, open south-facing window coverings (e.g. drapes, blinds, etc.) during the day. Close all window coverings at night to keep the heat in.
    • Use only task lighting when appropriate.
    • Clean your lamps and lighting fixtures. Use the lowest wattage light needed to adequately light an area.
    • Avoid controlling too many lights with a single switch.

Source Material: Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy Program at the NW Energy Efficiency Alliance. January 2003