Heating and Cooling During the heating season, dress warmer and lower the thermostat settings. Reducing heating set points by 3 - 7 degrees Fahrenheit during occupied hours will save 10 - 30% on your heating bill. Close off and don't heat unoccupied rooms (unless you have a heat pump). Open south-facing window coverings (e.g. drapes, blinds, etc.) during the day. Close all window coverings at night to keep the heat in. Close your fireplace damper and seal the opening shut when not in use. During the cooling season, raise the thermostat settings. Research indicates that energy savings are even greater, per degree, for raising air-conditioning set point than reducing heating levels. Use ceiling fans to provide occupant comfort at higher room temperatures. Don't forget to turn the fans off when the room is unoccupied. Replace filters regularly. Have your heating and cooling systems serviced and adjusted annually. Hot Water Lower the temperature on your electric water heater to 120 (F) degrees. Turn it off when leaving for extended periods of time (one week or longer). Wash full loads of dishes and air dry. When washing clothes, use warm or cold water and rinse with cold. Air dry clothes, but not indoors as this creates unwanted mold and moisture problems. Install a low-flow showerhead. Showers use less hot water than baths; also consider taking shorter showers. Refrigeration Set refrigerator temperatures between 37 and 40 degrees (F). Clean the coils regularly. Keep the refrigerator/freezers stocked; it takes more energy to cool an empty appliance. Consider replacing your older model refrigerator, especially if older than 10 years. Older models can often use over 3 times the energy of newer models. Lighting Turn off lights when not needed. Remove unneeded light bulbs. When replacing bulbs, use lower wattage/more efficient (such as compact fluorescent or LED). General Turn off computers and other electronic appliances when you're not using them. Many computer monitors have a sleep mode setting which, when activated, greatly reduces energy consumption. Use a microwave or toaster oven for smaller items. Install foam gaskets behind electric-outlet and switch-plate covers. Examine and adjust, if necessary, weather stripping, door sweeps, and thresholds. Make sure all automatic controls are in good working condition and are set properly. Take the TVA online energy audit and schedule an in-home energy evaluation at http://www.energyright.com. Send your energy savings ideas or report energy waste issues to the UAH Director of Energy Management and Plant Systems, Vanessa Ennis, at email@example.com.