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.


  • 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.


  • Turn off lights when not needed.
  • Remove unneeded light bulbs.
  • When replacing bulbs, use lower wattage/more efficient (such as compact fluorescent or LED).


  • 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.

UAH's Energy Management Program is managed out of the Office of Facilities & Operations.

Contact the Director, Utilities & Sustainability, Claire Jackson at Claire.Jackson@uah.edu.

If you are interested in seeing UAH become a more resilient and sustainable community and want to get involved, check out our Sustainability Student Organizations at https://www.uah.edu/sustainability.