causing your A/C or heater to run more than necessary. A qualified HVAC technician can easily relocate your thermostat. A bonus tip: If you have a mercury thermostat, replace it with a programmable digital version, which is much more accurate.
15) At what temperature do you set your thermostat in the summer? What about the winter?
Conservation tip: Set your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. For every degree you move in the right direction, you’ll reduce your monthly usage.
16) Check your thermostat again. Is your A/C fan set to “auto”?
Conservation tip: A continually running A/C fan needlessly elevates your bill. Choose the “auto” setting instead. Your fan will only come on when the unit is in cooling mode, which saves energy.
17) Do you keep all interior doors open?
Conservation tip: Take care not to isolate rooms by keeping some doors shut. You eliminate circulation and air flow from one room to the next, which is necessary to efficiently cool or heat your location.
18) Take a look at the vents on your ceiling. These are called “supply registers.” Are they open?
Conservation tip: By opening all supply registers, you keep air circulating throughout your home or business, ensuring that each room is cooled or heated properly.
19) How often do you replace your air filter?
Conservation tip: Some filters last longer than others. Check manufacturer recommendations on the packaging for how often to replace your filter.
20) Do you keep the flue to your fireplace closed when not in use?
Conservation tip: You might be surprised how much air can escape through your chimney, so keep your fireplace flue tightly closed—except when you’re enjoying a warm fire, of course.
21) Does your fireplace have glass doors on the front?
Conservation tip: Glass doors block heated or cooled air from escaping through the chimney. Remember, the fireplace flue is not air-tight.
22) Is your water heater in good condition?
Conservation tip: If you see rust, leakage, condensation markings or any other signs of deterioration, consider replacing your water heater with a new one that has the Energy Star seal.
23) What is the temperature setting on your water heater?
Conservation tip: Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. That should be more than adequate to keep your water warm. Any higher, and you may be wasting energy.
24) Do you have a water heater blanket or jacket?
Conservation tip: If your tank is warm to the touch, you need additional insulation. Buy a water heater blanket or jacket for just $10 or $20, and you’ll save money in the long-run.
25) Are your appliances in good condition?
Conservation tip: There’s no magic number for when certain appliances should be replaced. The more you use them, the shorter time they will last. In general, refrigerators, clothes washers/dryers, dishwashers and stoves/ovens are fine for 10 to 15 years. Other appliances that run shorter cycles, like microwaves and toasters, may last longer. The bottom line—when you replace an appliance, do so with an Energy Star version for maximum efficiency.
Indoor Lighting & Fans
26) Do you use mostly incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs?
Conservation tip: They cost a little extra, but compact fluorescent light bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent. They also last up to 10 times longer, making them the least expensive choice long-term.
27) When do you use ceiling fans?
Conservation tip: Fans are a brilliant way to save energy but only when you’re in the room. That’s because fans don’t actually heat or cool the air. They only move it around. Remember to set your fans to spin counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter.
28) Is the insulation in your attic sufficient?
Conservation tip: Attic insulation will be the biggest “bang for your buck”. Sufficient attic insulation should be anywhere from 12-24 inches deep and cover the entire attic. If yours is not this deep, has areas that are uninsulated, or worse has no insulation at all, this is a tremendous waste of energy and money.