Schriever Residents Can Save By Adjusting Thermostats
You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10°–15° for 8 hours, you can save about 5%–15% a year on your heating bill—a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.
In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning, too, by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lowering the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal as you wake or return home.
A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly. The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature. The same concept applies to raising your thermostat setting in the summer; a higher interior temperature will slow the flow of heat into your house, saving energy on air conditioning.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
Save Energy and Help Your Budget During Warm Weather
- If possible, keep your room air conditioner out of the sun. Room air conditioners work best when kept cool. Installing one in a north-facing wall is usually ideal.
- If you have central air conditioning, keep your thermostat at 78 degrees. You can also save approximately an additional six to seven percent off your cooling costs for each degree above 78.
- If your air conditioner does not have a thermostat, adjust it to a lower setting, or combine using it with a window or ceiling fan to cool things down.
- Consider installing a ceiling fan. During hot weather a ceiling fan will create a cool breeze and keep the air circulating in your home.
- Get rid of hot air. Use an exhaust fan to blow hot air out of your kitchen while you’re cooking. The savings on your cooling costs far outweigh the electricity used by the fan. Also, take lukewarm showers and baths to avoid humid air, which holds more heat.
- A dehumidifier can greatly add to your electric bill. Make sure you have the appropriate sized dehumidifier for your home.
- Close blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day. This keeps the strong sunlight from heating your home.
- Use your microwave or countertop appliances for cooking instead of the oven or stove.
- What says summer better than burgers and hot dogs? Instead of using your oven or stove, which can generate heat on an already hot day, fire up the outdoor grill for cooking. You can also use your microwave or other countertop appliances in place of the stove or oven.
- Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save money on your electricity bill. If you have children in the house, this is also a safety measure.
- Install ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent light bulbs in your most-used fixtures and lamps. Fluorescent bulbs put out less heat, plus you’ll save $30 to $40 in energy costs over the life of each bulb.
- Check your heating and cooling system to make sure it is operating at peak efficiency.
- Postpone laundry and dishwashing until nighttime to avoid generating extra heat in your home. Also, consider taking advantage of the warmer air and dry your laundry outside.
- Don’t forget about your own energy. Wearing lighter clothing can help cool you down without turning on the air conditioner. Also, remember to stay hydrated during extreme temperatures.
- If you have a pool, turn off your filter overnight when the pool is not in use.
Source: NSTAR Electric and Gas. Delivering safe and reliable electricity and natural gas to customers in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Massachusetts.
Energy Star Home Improvement Tips