Wednesday | December 6, 2023
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Energy Saving Tips


For energy saving tips, cost comparisons and cost savings calculators visit smart ideas from Peco.

You can reduce the energy used to heat and cool your apartment by:

• setting your thermostat low i n the winter

• setting your thermostat high in the summer

• making sure you don’t waste the energy you’ve saved

65° Set Low in Winter

Set the thermostat in your apartment at a low temperature to save energy in the winter. 65° F is the daytime standard for residences as well as for offices, retail space, schools and industry. And you should aim for a temperature of at least 5° lower than that at night and while you’re away from home for several hours in the daytime.

Isn’t 65° too cold? It will seem cold to people accustomed to higher indoor temperatures, but people all over the world have lived with 65° and even 60° for centuries. For example, British homes are customarily kept at 63-68° . And according to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 64° or even 60° may even be healthier than 70° ! It may take you a couple of weeks to adapt to colder temperatures. Try reducing the temperature gradually, perhaps just a degree every day or two. Everyone – even infants, preschoolers, pregnant women, and the elderly – should adapt to lower settings in a few weeks. Your houseplants won’t mind colder temperatures either.

For comfort in cooler temperatures, dress warmly. Several layers of loose-fitting clothing are warmer and more comfortable than one heavy garment, because the layers trap air that acts as insulation. When you’re reading or watching television, put a quilt or blanket over your legs.

Use quilts and comforters on beds to keep warm at night. Just as with clothes, several light blankets trap warm air and keep you more comfortable than one heavy cover.


Turn Down at Night

There is a myth that says you won’t save energy by turning down your thermostat at night because it takes more energy to warm up your apartment in the morning. This is not true. Setting the thermostat back for several hours each night will save energy. Depending on your geographical location, turning your thermostat down 10° at night will save 9-15% of your heating energy. If 10°is too much, try 5° . Every degree helps. The same is true for times when you’re out of the house, even for a few hours, turn the heat down. If you leave for a weekend or longer, turn your controls down to 55° and plan to keep busy unpacking while the house warms up on your return.



Your best bet for winter energy savings is to aim at these targets:

• 65° or lower while you’re at home.

• 55° – 60° at night.

• 55° – 60° while away in the daytime.

If you currently keep your thermostat at 70° day and night, meeting these targets will save 20% to 25% of your heating fuel, but remember, even if you can’t meet the targets, every degree you dial down – even one – helps save energy.


78° Set High for Summer Savings

It’s nice to have an air conditioner, but keeping cool may take more than half of all the energy you use in the summer. The easiest way to save this energy is to set high.

• Set your thermostat at 78° . Every degree below 78° will require 2% – 7% more energy, depending on where you live. Keeping your apartment at 72° instead of 78° can take up to  47% more cooling energy!

• Don’t set your air conditioner control at a colder setting than normal when you turn it on. It will not cool faster. It will cool to a lower temperature than you need and use more  energy.

• Turn the air conditioner off when you leave for a few hours. You’ll use less energy cooling the room later than if you had left the unit running.

• Open windows instead of using your air conditioning on cooler days.

• Since lights, cooking, appliances, dishwashers, hair dryers, etc., all generate heat, keep use of these to a minimum, especially in the hottest part of the day.


Don’t Waste the Energy you’ve Saved

The energy you use to heat or cool your apartment is pure waste if that precious conditioned air escapes to the outside or goes to a room you won’t be in. To stop this waste:

• Keep your doors and windows tightly shut when the furnace or air conditioner is on.

• Report any drafts around windows and doors, or cracked windows, to your manager – even a small crack can let a lot of air through.

• Close off unoccupied rooms and shut off the heat or air conditioner vents.

• Make sure your air vents or radiators are clean – dust can trap the heat or cool air.

• Use your draperies or blinds to help keep unwanted heat or cold out and to keep conditioned air in.

• Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans sparingly. In just an hour, these fans can blow away an apartmentful of warmed or cooled air.


Other Energy Savers

Heating, cooling, and hot water are the biggest users of energy in your apartment, but you can save in other ways, too.

• Always turn off lights and appliances not in use. Leaving a television set or a light on in an empty room is a total waste of energy.

• Use your appliances to their maximum efficiency – full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine or a whole meal baked in the oven.

• Keep lights and appliances clean and in good repair. They’ll work more efficiently that way.