There are things you can do right now to make your house more comfortable and energy efficient.  Duke Energy recommends these great tips on how to lower your energy usage.

Heating and Cooling

  • Do not black your registers and return vents.
  • Set your thermostat at recommended settings: 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
  • Use ceiling fans to keep cool.  And, like a light, be sure to turn off the fan when you leave the room.
  • On sunny winter days, open blinds, shades and curtains to help keep you warm.  At night, close the binds, shades and curtains to help keep heat inside.
  • In the summer, keep heat out by closing window shades and blinds. It’s also helpful to keep windows closed to prevent hot air and humidity from coming inside.
  • Remove window air conditioners in the winter to eliminate air leakage around the unit.

Water leaking

  • Repair leaky faucets.  A drip can waste up to 48 gallons of water per week.
  • Repair ongoing running toilets.


  • Select light colored lamp shades.
  • Place lamps in corners so they reflect off two walls.
  • Turn lights off when not needed.

Refrigerators and freezers

  • Set refrigerators at 38 to 40 degrees, and freezers at 0 degrees.
  • Allow hot foods to cool before refrigerating.


  • Unplug cell phone and other battery chargers when not in use.
  • If you’re going to be away from your computer for more than 20 minutes, turn off the monitor, for more than two hours, turn off the computer.
  • Unplug or connect modems, printers, TVs, DVD players, cable/satellite boxes and other remote controlled devices to a power strip with a switch that can be tuned off when they are not being used.

Washers and dryers

  • Chose the correct load-size setting, and don’t overload the washer.
  • Wash with cold or warm water when possible.
  • Clean lint filter after each use.
  • Dry full loads, but avoid overloading.
  • Use warm rather than hot setting.


  • Use the air-dry/energy saver option.
  • Run only full loads in the dishwasher.


  • Turn oven off a few minutes before cooking time is up.
  • Don’t use a major appliance when a small one (e.g. toaster oven) will do.
  • Microwave when possible; these ovens use 30 to 70 percent less electricity.
  • Cook items together in the oven if their cooking temperatures are within 25 degrees of one another.
  • Preheat oven only when necessary, and don’t open the door to peak.
  • Match your pots and pans to the size of your stove’s element/burner, and use a lid to reduce cooking time.

Information courtesy of Duke Energy

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