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Energy Efficiency

Whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall, your energy decisions can make a big difference when it comes time to pay your bills. Here are some energy-saving tips to help you save money while helping the environment.

Winter Warmth

    Heating your home doesn’t need to be a headache. Follow these cold-weather energy-saving tips.

    Keep your thermostat between 65 and 68 degrees during the day and around 60 degrees at night. If you feel cold, layer up with a sweater.

    When you pick a temperature, stick to it—each time you change the thermostat setting, energy is wasted.

    Remember to remove any window fans and air conditioners, and to keep windows and sliding doors closed. Make sure not to block radiators, baseboard heating units or heat registers with dust or furniture. A clear path from the heat to you means maximum heating efficiency.

    Use the natural (and free!) energy Mother Nature provides—open your shades on sunny days to take enjoy the use of solar heat. On overcast days and at night, keep them closed—you’ll want to preserve the heat in your home.

Cooling in the Summer

    When the summer heat rolls around, make smart energy choices to stay cool without breaking the bank.

    Watch your air conditioning consumption. Air conditioners use a huge amount of energy, so if you’re going to use one, keep it set to 74 degrees or above.

    Turn off your AC when you leave your home. If you want to make sure to come back to a cool home, use a timer to get the AC going 30 minutes before you’re set to return home.

    When the AC is running, keep windows and doors closed to keep the cool air inside. Close the drapes on especially sunny windows so that your AC won’t need to fight the solar heat. Just remember not to block the AC unit!

    Clean your AC filters regularly. Dirty filters require more energy and can cause damage to the AC unit, shortening its lifetime usability.

    On cooler nights, turn off your AC and open your windows. If possible, try to open opposite windows to enjoy a cross breeze.

Power Planning

    Electronic devices can be a big energy drain. A little effort can go a long way towards saving money.

    Electronic devices use energy whenever they’re plugged in—whether or not they’re actually in use. Unplug your television, cable box, DVD player and small appliances when you leave the house for extended periods of time.

    Put your computer to sleep instead of letting the bright lights keep shining. You can save your place on your browsers, documents and games without using unnecessary electricity.

    Switch to energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs. You’ll save up to 75% on lighting costs.

Kitchen Clues

    The kitchen tends to be one of the most trafficked rooms in a home. It’s also one of the most energy-consuming.

    Only run your dishwasher with a full load, and use a short cycle for anything but the dirtiest of dishes. You’ll be surprised at how much energy you’ll save.

    If you rinse your dishes before running them through the dishwasher, use cold water—no need to waste heat on dishes that are going through the dishwasher anyway.

    When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water going—scrub your dishes in a sink filled with hot, soapy water and rinse them off in a pan filled with hot water.

    Scrub that oven! It takes significantly more energy to heat up an oven with grime caked on the bottom than it does to heat up a clean one.

    Smaller appliances save money. It’s simple but it’s true: if you can heat something up in a toaster oven, that’s going to take much less energy than heating up the full-sized oven.

    Pick your frying pan wisely. It takes less energy to heat up a pan on the stove if it’s on a burner that’s the same size as the surface area of the pan.

    When boiling water, keep your pot covered. Water will come to a boil faster saving you time and energy. Also, remember not to boil more water than you’re actually going to use—if you only want one cup of tea, don’t fill the whole kettle.

Best Bathroom Practices

    Water, water everywhere. Bathrooms can be a big drain as water goes to waste. Make conscious decisions to limit your water use and your spending.

    It takes a lot of energy to heat up water. Take short showers—around five to ten minutes—and you’ll use less water and less heat.

    Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing your face—don’t let water you’re not using flow down the drain.

    If your toilet isn’t working properly, report it to your property manager ASAP. A running toilet can lead to unnecessarily large water bills.

Laundry Lowdown

    Cleaning your clothes doesn’t need to clean you out. Wash smart and save yourself money at the end of the month.

    Wash your clothes on cold, and only wash full loads. You’ll save money on both heat and on water—and you’ll save time and effort.

    If you aren’t doing a full load, set your washing machine accordingly. New machines have multiple settings to ensure that you don’t use more water or energy than necessarily.

    Don’t over-dry your clothes. Not only will you use less heat, you’ll extend the life of your clothes—saving yourself money down the line.