- Set your thermostat at 85°F or more when you leave
your home for more than four hours. Savings: 5-12% of
- Use an outdoor electric grill to avoid heating up your
- Use air conditioning wisely. Keep all your doors and
windows shut and avoid using a humidifier.
- Don't overcool. Don't turn your thermostat lower than
normal to cool your home faster. It doesn't work.
- Keep heat-producing appliances away from your thermostat.
Heat emitted by television sets, lamps, and other appliances
will make your cooling system work harder.
- Unless you have furniture, art or equipment that could
be damaged by excessive heat, turn your cooling unit off
when you leave your home for more than 24 hours.
- Turn off your furnace pilot light during the non-heating
season. Savings: 3-9% of cooling costs.
- Cool naturally. Take advantage of breezy days and nights
by opening doors and windows and turning off your cooling
- When going on vacation, set your air conditioner at
85 degrees, or turn it off completely in moderate climates.
- A well-placed tree, shrub, or vine can deliver effective
shade, act as a windbreak, and reduce overall energy bills.
- Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of a
typical household's energy for heating and cooling.
- Provide shading for your air conditioning condenser.
Savings: 2-3% of cooling costs.
- Use exterior shading devices like awnings, bamboo screens
and shade screens (instead of bug screens), or deciduous
plants to shade your home and windows (especially south,
west and east facing) from the sun.
- In the summer, leafy trees provide cool shade. In the
winter, bare branches allow the sun to warm your home.
Small shrubs can block heat reflected from patios and
pavement. And planting vines over southern windows can
reduce the effect of the sun's heat. Savings: Up to 8%
of cooling costs.
- Water lawns between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m.
- Consider a solar water heating system for your swimming
- Keep your spa or pool covered when not in use. Well-fitted
pool and spa covers help prevent heat loss. They also
reduce water evaporation.
- Consider a solar cover; it lies on the water's surface
and heats the water from the sun. Pool and spa combos
save energy because they share the same filtration and
heating systems. Use a time clock to pre-set the exact
hours you want your pool heated. Savings: 50 to 70% of
water heating costs.
- Switch pool filter and sweeper operations to off-peak
hours. Peak hours are between noon and 6 p.m. Consider
replacing pool pumps and motors with updated, more efficient
equipment. Savings depend on your use.
- Shorten the operating time for your swimming pool filter
and automatic cleaning sweep (if your pool has one). In
the winter, two hours a day of filtering will keep your
pool clean. Savings: 40 to 50%.
- When closing a pool for the winter, drain all water
from the heater, filter, pump, and piping system. Remove
the pump motor and store in a dry place. Inspect the spa
heater annually for scale, mineral deposits, or corrosion.