During the summer, keep your shades closed during the day to keep the heat out and open them during the winter to let the sunlight naturally warm your home.
Turn down the temperature in the winter and turn it up in the summer. For each one degree reduction in temperature in the winter you can save 2% or more on your heating and for each degree you raise the temperature in the summer, you can save 3% or more on cooling.
Use a programmable thermostat. Easy to install, a programmable thermostat could pay for itself in less than a year, and it can control your furnace and air conditioning.
Plug air leaks in your home. Inexpensive foam strips and caulking can cut your heating and cooling loss by 10%–25%.
Clean and maintain your furnace annually, and change your furnace filter monthly for efficient operation. Fossil fuel heating systems should be cleaned and serviced on an annual basis to ensure optimum efficiency and safe operation.
Use a Smart Power Strip for your entertainment center and computer workstation.
Unplug electronic devices when not in use. This will eliminate the risk of phantom load on devices that use energy even when turned off.
Set your dishwasher on a timer to run during off-peak hours. Air dry your dishes whenever possible.
Do your laundry on the weekends to avoid the peak rate. Wash only full loads and use cold water. Air dry your laundry in the summer months to save even more.
Clean refrigerator coils and make sure you have at least a one-inch clearance on the sides and on top of the refrigerator. Also, check the seals; if worn or ripped, have them replaced.
The hose that vents your clothes dryer outside should have a minimum number of turns or bends in it to help reduce drying time and lower the moisture level in your home. We recommend using rigid type ducting on all dryers to improve operation efficiency and to reduce the risk of fires.
Get rid of that second refrigerator or freezer. The second refrigerator or freezer in your garage or basement can cost you several hundred dollars over its life. Check out Minnesota Power's Refrigerator/Freezer recycling program at mnpower.com/roundup.
Use natural lighting as much as possible during peak hours, and turn off lights when you're not using them.
Use outdoor motion sensor lights and make sure you are using energy-efficient lighting such as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diode bulbs (LEDs).
Measure the temperature of your hot water. When you lower the temperature to 120 degrees, you will save energy and reduce the risk of scalding. Each 10 degree reduction in temperature will save about 3 to 5 percent on your water heating costs.
Wrap your water heater with an insulated blanket and apply pipe wrap insulation on all hot and cold pipes. You can help reduce water heating costs another 5 to 8 percent.
Install energy- and water-saving showerheads and aerators.
Home Energy Audits
Contact Minnesota Power to request either a free basic walk-through, free energy audit or a fee-based comprehensive audit, which includes a blower door test and an infrared thermal scan. Energy specialists will identify cost-effective energy improvements that will result in a comfortable home that uses less energy. Visit www.mnpower.com/hea for more information.
Check out Minnesota Power’s Energy Conservation Programs for more ideas on how to save energy!