- Air Conditioning - An average central air conditioner can cost up to 58 cents per hour to operate. In contrast, a fan (ceiling or portable) costs only one cent an hour to operate.
- Computer - A typical computer and monitor consume about one kilowatt-hour of power in seven hours of operation.
- Dishwasher - Running the dishwasher once a day fully loaded uses about 17 gallons of hot water. Washing dishes by hand three times a day uses about 10 gallons of hot water each time.
- Faucet - A dripping faucet can waste as much as 20 gallons of water a day. A 1/16 inch trickle in a toilet can waste 74,000 gallons of water in three months.
- Furnace - Check and service your furnace and air-conditioning units once a year. Change the filter in forced air heating systems each month, and close vents in rooms not often used.
- Insulation - Installing insulation is generally one of the best things you can do to reduce your home's heating and cooling costs. Up to 20% of your home's heating or air conditioning can be lost to the great outdoors. Proper insulation will keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
- Lighting accounts for nearly 25% of all electricity consumed in the United States. An average household dedicates about 10% of its energy budget to lighting and almost half of that energy is wasted by obsolete equipment, inadequate maintenance, or inefficient use. You can save lighting energy by reducing the length of time the light is on or by using watt-saving bulbs. They give off the same amount of light as regular bulbs but use 10% less energy.
- Oven - Every time you open your oven's door, you lose approximately 25 degrees of heat. A gas oven can retain heat up to 15 minutes after it is turned off; an electric oven up to 30 minutes. Take advantage of this extra heat to warm up desserts or rolls. Keep oven free of grease and baked on residue.
- Refrigerator coils should be cleaned regularly. Also check refrigerator door seals by closing the door over a piece of paper so that it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper out easily, the latch may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing. Use the correct thermostat settings. For maximum efficiency set your refrigerator controls between 38 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit and set your freezer controls at zero.
- Thermostat - In winter, the best temperature for your heater's thermostat is 68 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Before bedtime, turn it down to 55 degrees for more savings. In summer, set the air-conditioning thermostat at 75 to 78 degrees when you're home and at 80 degrees when you're away.
- Range - Pans with flared sides or bottoms that are smaller than your burner let heat escape. If pots and pans are too big or have warped bottoms, your food won't cook evenly. Electric range-top burners can stay hot for an extra 3 to 5 minutes. Take advantage of this extra heat to warm food.
- Washer/Dryer - Wash and dry full loads. More than 70 percent of the cost of washing a load of laundry is in heating the water so use cold water whenever possible and always rinse in cold water. Clean your dryer's lint screen after every use.
- Water Heater - To work most efficiently, your water heater thermostat control should be set between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. If your water heater feels warm when you touch it, you should consider buying a water-heater blanket.
- Windows on the sunny side of your home should be shaded to keep rooms cooler. Keep drapes closed or add room darkening shades to block out the heat from the sun.
Water is often called a renewable resource, but what does that really mean? Is water an unlimited resource? What happens to water after it is used and how can you keep from wasting water? Think about all the ways water is used in your home. How much water do you and your family use at home every day?
The table below will help you calculate the amount of water used in your home daily. It will also help you to determine how you are wasting water.
Check the water conservation tips below to determine how you can conserve this precious resource.
- Tap Water - When using water from a faucet, do not let the water run while you are rinsing dishes, brushing your teeth or shaving. A dripping faucet can waste as much as 20 gallons of water a day.
- Washer - Wash full loads only. More than 70 percent of the cost of washing a load of laundry is in heating the water so use cold water whenever possible and always rinse in cold water.
- Dishwasher - Running the dishwasher once a day fully loaded uses about 17 gallons of hot water. Washing dishes by hand three times a day uses about 10 gallons of hot water each time or 30 gallons total.
- Shower - Take shorter showers. Turn the water off while you soap. A five-minute shower uses about 12.5 gallons of water while a bath uses 50 gallons.
- Toilet - A standard toilet uses about 3.5 gallons per flush while a low-flow toilet uses only 1.6 gallons per flush. A 1/16 inch trickle in a toilet can waste 24,000 gallons of water in a month.