Energy Efficiency Tips
Easy ways to save energy and money throughout your home.
Taking a whole house approach to saving energy helps save you money and keeps your home at its peak comfort level. Many no cost and low cost energy saving improvements can reduce your home’s energy consumption and ease the strain on your budget during the cold weather months.
Five easy changes
- Turn down the heat at night or when you’re out of the house. You can save 3%* in energy costs with each degree of reduction. A programmable thermostat will make scheduled temperature reductions automatic.
- Make sure your furnace filter is clean. NW Natural recommends changing your furnace filter at least four times during the heating season. A dirty filter will slow down air flow,make the system work harder and waste energy.
- Sealing air leaks and adding insulation can dramatically increase comfort and could save up to 20%* on heating and cooling costs.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees (or to 140 degrees, if your dishwasher does not pre-heat water). Each 10 degree reduction in water temperatures can save you 3-5%* in energy costs. When doing laundry, use the cold setting for both washing and rinsing.
- Install high-performances shower heads and faucet aerators in all sinks to save energy costs while efficiently heating water and maintaining pressure. Efficient shower heads are available at participating retailers in Oregon with instant discounts provided by Energy Trust of Oregon.
No cost energy saving tips
- Adjust vents to keep specific rooms in your home at a desired temperature. Heat rises, so you may want to partially close upstairs vents. Do not close more than one or two vents in an average sized house. Restricting airflow too much can shorten the life of your furnace.
- Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans only as long as needed to vent moisture or fumes, especially in winter. In just one hour, these fans can blow away a houseful of warm air.
- Operate your dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer with full loads only.
- Use draperies, awnings, blinds or shutters on all windows to slow the loss of heat through the glass. In winter, keep window coverings open on sunny days to let in the sun’s warmth and close them at night to insulate against cold outside temperatures.
- Close dampers when not using your fireplace or woodstove, but wait until the fire is completely out, which could take several hours or longer..
Low cost energy saving home improvements
- Have your furnace and gas appliances serviced annually by a qualified contractor to ensure maximum energy-efficiency and safety.
- Cover hot water pipes – and the first six feet of cold water pipes – with pipe insulation.
- Fix cracked caulking and replace weather stripping around windows and doors.
- Fix defective plumbing or dripping faucets.
- Upgrade your old, leaky windows to high-efficiency ones and save up to 15%* on heating and cooling costs.
- Install LED bulbs to cut your lighting energy use by up to 85%* every time you turn on the lights. LEDs last up to 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs and one LED can save up to $80 over its lifetime.
*Percentages agreed upon by Energy Trust of Oregon and NW Natural.
- Smart energy saving investments—View a list of home improvements that may qualify for cash incentives and tax credits.