Energy Saving Tips
- By lowering the furnace thermostat by just 5°F for 8 hours each day, you can save up to 10% in fuel costs.
- For every degree you raise the thermostat, the energy required to run your air conditioner is lowered by 3%.
- Your refrigerator should be 35°- 38°F and have plenty of space for air to circulate. A temperature setting of just 10°F lower will result in a 25% increase in the energy used to run it. Leave a thermometer in a glass of water in the fridge overnight, adjust the temperature if required and retest every morning until it reads correctly.
- Your freezer should be at 0°F, and be full at all times. Use soda bottles 3/4 filled with water to fill the space, if necessary.
- Replace paper furnace filters monthly. Cleanable filters should be cleaned every 90 days. One of the four factors that determine the efficiency of your air conditioner is air flow across the coil – and air can’t flow across the coil if the filter is clogged. Only about one out of every 10 homes we audit has a clean filter installed.
If You Feel a Draft
Don’t assume you need new windows. Generally, it’s not the windows – it’s the area around the windows. Typically the window opening is 1 to 2 inches larger than the window itself, so the window can be shimmed and leveled. Some contractors just cover the gap with molding; others fill the gap with fiberglass insulation – which is just about as bad as doing nothing.
- Instead of purchasing new windows, remove the interior molding and fiberglass packing around the worst window in the house. Next, fill the gap with Great Stuff Foam for windows and doors, which is available at all quality hardware stores. Replace the molding and caulk around the top and bottom. Also check the condition of the caulk on the exterior of the window and re-caulk if necessary. In many cases this will solve the problem and save you thousands to tens of thousands of dollars, money better spent on air sealing, additional insulation, Energy Star® appliances, or a well-deserved vacation.