- Consider window fans, ceiling fans or whole-house fans, which use much less power, as an alternative to air conditioners.
- Close your blinds, shades or draperies during the hottest part of the day.
- Shut off your air conditioner if you leave home for an extended period of time.
- Air conditioners work to remove humidity, so reserve moisture-making jobs such as dishwashing, laundry and bathing for either early morning or at night when it’s cooler
- Shade the outdoor air conditioning unit if possible. A unit in the sun will use up to 5 percent more energy than one in the shade.
- Clean or replace the central air-conditioning filter monthly. Clean the filter in window units as well. It’s behind the front panel.
- Install energy-efficient LED bulbs. They give off less heat and use as much as 75 percent less energy than regular bulbs.
Winter Tips – Windows and Doors
- Repair broken or cracked glass and putty older windows; check to see that windows close properly and window locks pull sashes together.
- Make sure doors close properly; repair or replace non-working doorknobs, latches and striker plates.
- Weatherstrip windows, doors and attic accesses; caulk the frames around windows and doors from the inside using a clear, pliable caulk.
Winter Tips – Other Air Leaks
- If you have a fireplace, be sure it is fitted with a tight sealing damper that is closed when the fireplace is not in use. If the fireplace is used infrequently, use a chimney block to eliminate heat loss.
- Caulk foundation cracks and openings. Make sure kitchen and bathroom vent dampers close properly.
- Install automatic setback thermostats that adjust the heat to your schedule.
- Insulate attics (especially attics with less than seven inches of insulation), walls, and flooring over unheated crawl spaces or basements.
- Install exterior storm windows, including cellar storm windows. For windows that are rarely opened, consider installing interior storm windows.
- Replace standard curtains with tight sealing, insulated or quilted window coverings.
Indoor Electric Safety
- When using appliances and power tools, read and follow all manufacturers instructions.
- Never overload a circuit. Large appliances need separate circuits.
- Replace worn plugs, wires, or extension cords.
- Never run cords under rugs or over heaters.
- Avoid using or storing appliances near water.
- Childproof outlets with safety covers. Teach children electrical safety.
- Never leave small children unattended near electric appliances, lamps, fans, heaters, or motors.
- Install ground fault interrupt (GFI) outlets near sinks and outdoors.
Outdoor Electric Safety
- Keep away from power lines. This includes ladders, kites, balloons, antennas, kids, and yourself.
- Any time you dig, call Dig Safe at 1-888-DIG-SAFE (www.digsafe.com) to locate underground utilities. The service is free.
- If a tree has power lines running through it, call the light department. Do not attempt to trim the tree yourself.
- Leave downed wires alone. Never attempt to move anyone in contact with a live wire. Call for help immediately.