Home Energy-Saving Checklist
Look around your home for practices that apply. Try these energy-saving recommendations.
- Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher when you're at home, health permitting. And set your air conditioner to 85 degrees when you’re away from home.
- If possible, move the air conditioning unit to a north-facing or shaded window, as direct sunlight reduces your unit’s efficiency. Provide shading for your air conditioning unit.
- Consider replacing pool pumps and motors with energy-efficient equipment. If your pool has a filter and automatic cleaning sweep, shorten the operating time.
- Save energy and money by using pool covers.
- Use exterior shading devices or plants to shade your home and windows from the sun.
- Visit a cooling center in your area.
- Enjoy an afternoon out—at the local pool, at your local library or park, or even see a summer movie.
- Shut windows and draw the shades to keep in pre-cooled air from the morning or the night before.
- Fill up the fridge. Having lots of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. Then it doesn't have to work as hard to stay cool.
- Check your HVAC system’s air filter every month. If the filter looks dirty, change it, but change the filter at least every three months. A dirty filter will slow air flow and make the system work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy.
- Use ceiling fans to create a cool breeze. If you raise your thermostat by only two degrees and use your ceiling fan, you can lower cooling costs by up to 14 percent.
- Remember to have your HVAC system serviced annually to ensure it’s running at optimum efficiency for money and energy savings.
- Turn off lights when not needed. Swap out incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient lighting choices. ENERGY STAR® qualified lighting not only uses less energy, it also produces about 75 percent less heat than incandescent lighting, so cooling bills will be reduced, too.
- Seal your air ducts using mastic sealant or metal and insulate all the ducts you can access. As much as 20 percent of the air moving through your home’s air duct system is lost due to leaks and poor connections.
- Make sure that connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet floors, walls, and ceilings. These are common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork.
- Add insulation to your attic to keep cool air in. If every American household did so, Americans would collectively save more than $1.8 billion in yearly energy costs.
- Buy an ENERGY STAR air conditioner if your air conditioner is ready to be replaced. It can reduce energy usage by up to 10 percent.
- ENERGY STAR windows can make your house more comfortable year-round and save you money as well.
- Avoid using the oven on hot days. Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.
- Use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home after showering or bathing. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside and not just to the attic.
- Consider installing a whole house fan. A whole house fan placed in your attic draws cooler air into the home and forces hot air out through attic vents. Use it when the air is cool outside, such as in the early morning.
- Install a door sweep on your garage door to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold. This prevents warm air from coming in and cool air from escaping your home.
Additional Savings Tips
- Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren't in use. Most new electronics use electricity even when switched "off."
- Turn computers and printers off at the power strip.
- Give your refrigerator breathing room: clean the coils and don’t set the temperature too low. The refrigerator should be kept between 38 degrees and 42 degrees Fahrenheit, and the freezer between 0 degrees and 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Clean the lint from the clothes dryer after every load. Run full loads and use the moisture-sensing setting. This will help save 5 percent on your electric bill.
- Turn off equipment and appliances — such as lights, televisions, stereos, DVD players and computers — when you’re not using them.
For more information, call PG&E's Smarter Energy Line at 1-800-933-9555.