You can do simple things at home to help lower your energy bills. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Heating and Cooling Tips
- Appliance Tips
- Natural Gas Appliance Energy Use
- Home Improvement Tips
- Helpful Links
- Set your thermostat at 65°-68° F during the winter while you're home during the day, and lower it at night or while you're away to 55°-58° F. Seniors and individuals with health problems may require a warmer setting.
- Install a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature when you're not at home. You could see up to 15 percent in annual savings by programming your thermostat five degrees lower for eight hours per day during the winter.
- Use a humidifier in colder months. When air is moist, you'll feel warmer and you can keep your thermostat lower.
- Check your furnace filter frequently, and replace or clean it once a month or as needed. A dirty filter can drive up the cost of heating your home.
- Set your thermostat at 78° F or higher during the summer.
- In winter, open window treatments to let in the sun's warmth during the day. Close window treatments at night to slow the loss of heat through the glass.
- Rearrange furniture or shorten draperies so heating registers and air returns aren't blocked.
- Turn your water heater thermostat to no more than 140° F.
- Lower the temperature setting on your washing machine. Most of the energy your washing machine uses is for heating water. Wash your laundry with warm or cold water rather than hot; then rinse in cold water only and save at least 50 percent on your washer's energy costs. Most of today's laundry detergents work effectively in cold water.
- Clean the lint from your dryer after each use.
- Set your dishwasher on the low-temperature setting unless your dishes are very dirty.
- Use the "energy saver" switch on your dishwasher to shut off the drying element.
- Run only full loads in your dishwasher. Avoid the rinse-and-hold cycle and save the seven to 10 gallons of water that pre-rinsing requires.
- Keep your freezer and refrigerator as full as possible.
- Position your refrigerator and freezer away from your cooking range, when possible.
- Preheat your oven only if a recipe calls for it.
- Use microwaves, toaster ovens, and slow cookers to save energy costs.
- Consider replacing any gas appliances that are more than 10 years old with more energy-efficient models. By replacing a conventional unit with a high-efficiency gas furnace, for example, an average homeowner could save $135 per year.
Take a look to see how many therms of natural gas these appliances use on average.*
|Appliance||Average Therms Used|
|Water Heater||24 therms/month|
|Gas Grill||.23 therms per use|
|Gas Logs||3 therms every 8 hours|
|*According to Atlanta Gas Light Company|
- Seal air leaks with caulking and weather-stripping materials to keep temperatures in the home controlled. Check for air leaks around doors and windows, behind electrical outlets, around pipes, along attic hatches and around your chimney.
- Energy-efficient windows and doors help prevent heat loss. They cost a little more now but pay dividends for years to come.
- Make low-cost "storm windows" by placing plastic over windows.
- Check the insulation level in your attic. Proper insulation can reduce your heating and cooling bills by up to 30 percent. Making sure your floors, attic and walls are well insulated reduces drafts and keeps temperatures more consistent throughout your home.
- Repair any dripping faucets.
- Install water-saving, low-flow showerheads and set your water to less than full force. Reduce the demand on your water heater by taking shorter showers.