COOLING
  • Buy an air conditioner with a high energy efficiency rating (EER). It’s printed on the EnergyGuide label attached to the unit. A unit with an EER of 10 will cost half as much to operate as one with an EER of 5
  • If you have central air conditioning, clean leaves and debris from the unit. To save energy, make sure they’re not too close to the compressor because they can block airflow
  • Install your air conditioner in the shade. When it’s in direct sunlight, it uses more energy
  • Make sure your central air conditioning system is the right size for the area you want to cool
  • Clean the filter regularly. Dusty filters make your air conditioner work harder. Check the manufacturer’s manual
    • LIGHTENING
    • Choose light bulbs carefully. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer. For example, a 20-watt fluorescent bulb is equal to a 60-watt incandescent bulb. They can also be used as porch lights
    • Install dimmer switches and three-way bulbs. They use less energy and let you enjoy a choice of lighting levels for different tasks
    • For outdoor use, consider high-pressure sodium bulbs, which are more efficient and last longer than their incandescent counterparts
    • When buying bulbs, check the lumens. The higher the lumens, the more light you’ll get
    • More light shines through when you keep dust off your lampshades, light fixtures and bulbs
    • Because light bounces off walls and ceilings, you’ll get more light for the money if you paint your walls light colors
    • Increase the power of reflection by putting lamps in corners where two walls reflect light into the room
    • Take advantage of free light from the sun by putting furniture near windows
    • Place security lights on a timer or photo-electric control so they’ll turn on and off automatically. Mercury vapor or high-pressure sodium lights are the best energy buys for outdoors
      WINDOWS
    • Drapes can cut heat loss in half if they have an insulating liner
    • Let your drapes hang loose, and be sure they don’t block heat registers and air-return ducts
    • Quilted curtains help cut heat loss. Shutters and blinds don’t work as well because air travels through their open spaces
    • On cool days, let the sun shine in by opening curtains, drapes, shades, shutters and blinds on the southern and eastern windows. Close them on cloudy days and at night to keep heat from escaping
    • Cut your heating losses by installing storm windows. Double-pane or triple-pane windows are best
    • Replace old windows with new high-performance windows
    • Repair open spaces in broken or cracked windows and door glass