- Step 1: Get the facts Download a full checklist of energy-saving tips at CreateTheGood.org.
- Step 2: Offer to do a walk-through Offer to do a walk-through of friends' homes, so you can help them identify ways they can reduce their energy spending. Start by closing vents and doors in rooms that aren't being used.
- Step 3: Clean heat and A/C sources Make sure radiators, vents, and baseboard heaters aren't blocked by curtains, furniture, or carpeting. If any heat or air-conditioning source is dirty, help clean it.
- Step 4: Check their water heater Look at their water heater and suggest lowering the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Reducing the temperature by 20 degrees can save nearly $50 per year without sacrificing comfort.
- Step 5: Look for drafts Check for drafts. Improperly sealed ducts in attics and garages alone can boost utility bills by 25 percent. And look for gaps around windows, doors, and pipes that connect to the house from the outside. If they have a window air-conditioning unit, encourage them to either remove or cover it during the winter.
- TIP: They may need professional assistance to seal gaps, but the price for the service can be worth the long-term savings.
- Step 6: Explain the 10-10 Rule Explain the 10-10 rule: Lowering their thermostat in winter by 10 percent for eight hours, like while they sleep, can shave 10 percent off their heating bill.
- TIP: People age 65 and older should consider local public-health directives and weather warnings before adjusting their thermostats.
- Step 7: Ask about air filters Ask when they last cleaned or replaced their furnace or A/C air filter. A clean one can save 10 percent on their energy costs.
- Step 8: Use efficient bulbs Replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent bulbs, which use 75 percent less energy, and last up to 10 times longer. That can translate into savings of up to $30 over one fluorescent bulb's lifetime!
- FACT: Help with energy or home weatherization costs may be available for eligible residents. Check with your local utilities and department of social services for more information.
You Will Need
- An energy-saving checklist
- The willingness to help others