Your house might be wasting energy without you knowing it. Complete a quick home energy inventory to hunt down the easy fixes.
1. Complete a Home Energy Inventory
Look for Energy Wasters
Walk through each room of your house to check your lights and electrical devices.
- Are any of the bulbs incandescents or halogens? Especially check bulbs that aren’t a standard shape, like candelabra bulbs. Once you’ve finished checking all the rooms inside your house, head out to the garage, then also go check your exterior lights.
- Do you have electronics like DVD players, TVs, and game consuls plugged in to the wall instead of a power strip? Do you turn the power strip off when you’re not using the device, or is it a smart power strip that does it automatically? Many electronics draw power even when they’re not in use.
- Are all the AA batteries in your devices rechargeable? Check remote controls, wireless mice, electronic toys and gadgets, flameless candles, flashlights and scales. Which of these could you switch to rechargeable?
- Do all your faucets have aerators?
- Are all your showerheads low-flow? They should be 2.5 GPM or less.
Check Your Temperature Settings
- Do you have a programmable thermostat? If not, are you able to replace your existing thermostat with a programmable one?
- Is your thermostat programmed to be cooler when you’re not home and at night while you’re sleeping?
- Is your water heater set to 120 degrees or “low”? If you’re not sure, you can use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water from your sink farthest away.
Want a Deeper Look? Schedule a Home Energy Assessment
Puget Sound Energy offers a free Home Energy Assessment that will take a deeper look at your home’s energy use, identify recommended energy efficiency upgrades, and replace up to 20 incandescents with LEDs for free. You can request a Home Energy Assessment through PSE. If you’re interested in one, request one today.
2. Fix Your Energy Wasters
Order Replacement Bulbs and Shower-Heads
- If you’re not getting a Home Energy Assessment, plan to either order your new bulbs online this week or add them to your shopping list for this coming weekend. Not sure if you should get CFLs or LEDs? Puget Sound Energy has a guide to choosing the right light bulb for your space.
- Cascade Water Alliance offers showerheads, aerators, and other water-saving items for the cost of postage. You can order low-flow showerheads from their site.
- Where it’s appropriate and you feel comfortable, switch to rechargeable batteries. Flameless candles, toys, and scales are great candidates for battery replacement. Order these or add them to your shopping list.
- Order or buy power strips to stop your energy vampires.
Adjust Your Thermostat and Water Heater
- If your water heater was above 120 degrees, lower the temperature. Energy.gov walks you through how to lower your water heater’s temperature if it doesn’t have markings.
- Adjust your thermostat as needed. Recommended settings are about 68 degrees while you’re at home, and 7 to 10 degrees cooler at night while you’re sleeping. PSE has some additional tips for adjusting heating.