Residential Energy Saving Tips

There are a many things we can do to help lower our energy costs. Some can be done right away.

Save on gasoline:

  • Shop locally and walk whenever possible.

  • Use public transportation.

  • If you need to drive, car pool if possible and run all of your errands at one time.

  • For optimum gasoline mileage, keep your tires properly inflated.

  • Keep your car serviced with clean filters and oil for optimum mileage.

  • Keep air conditioner use to a minimum.

  • Do not let your car idle.

Keep electricity use to a minimum in your home and at work:

  • Unplug electronics, such as appliances, and televisions when not in use.

  • Keep refrigerator coils clear of obstacles.

  • Shut lights off when a room is not in use.

  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps and save $30 to $40 over the life of the bulb.

  • Use a toaster oven rather than a conventional.

Minimize water usage:

  • Wash only full loads of dishes. Air drying dishes can cut energy use by one half.

  • Wash only full loads of clothes and air dry.

  • Heating water can account for 15% of your energy costs. Install low-flow shower heads and fix leaky faucets. The Boston Water and Sewer Commission provides free water saving kits upon request.

  • Repair leaky faucets. A steady drip of hot water can waste many gallons of water and the energy it takes to heat them.

Keep your home cool in the summer:

  • Use ceiling fans and/or window fans to keep air circulating.

  • Close blinds in south facing windows during the day.

  • Keep central air conditioning at 78 degrees: save 6% to 7% for every degree above 78 degrees.

  • Purchase air conditioners with programmable thermostats and install in a north-facing window.

  • Keep air conditioners away from lights or other heat sources.

  • In the summer install white window shades or blinds to reflect heat away.

Keep your home warm in the winter:

  • Purchase a programmable thermostat for heating and cooling and save up to $100 per year. Keep thermostats clear of heat sources such as lamps and television sets.

  • Set your heat no higher than 68 degrees* during the day and lower it in the evening.

  • Set your water heater between 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap it in an insulating blanket; be sure to check the manual and labels on the tank first.

  • Make sure your storm windows are in place to keep heat inside.

  • Do not block radiators or heating vents with furniture or draperies and keep vents clear of dust.

  • Keep shades open during the day and closed in the evening to retain heat.

  • An open fireplace damper acts like an open window. Close it when not in use, or install tempered glass doors.

  • Have your heating system serviced once a year and regularly replace furnace filters and save up to 5% on your heating costs.

  • Plug home leaks: install weather-stripping and caulk all doors and windows, and install gaskets behind outlet covers. For less than $20 in materials, you can save 20% of your heating bill.

  • Install insulation in crawl spaces, attics, walls, and basements.

* Landlords are required to provide specific heat levels under the State Sanitary Code.

Save money with Renew Boston:

  • Through the Renew Boston program, qualifying Bostonians will be eligible for no-cost home energy efficiency improvements.┬áCall Renew Boston at 617-635-SAVE to find out more.
    Renew Boston

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