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.