Energy Saving Tips Whether you're looking to stay cool during the hot summer months or warm during the long New England winter, we've got tips that'll help you save money while staying comfortable. Fall & Winter Spring & Summer Set your thermostat no higher than 68 degrees when you are home and lower the temperature when you go to bed or when you are not at home. This will ensure optimal home heating and save energy. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you save about two percent off your heating bill. Cut annual heating bills by as much as 10 percent a year by turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 percent for eight hours a day. Weatherize your home by caulking and weather-stripping all doors and windows. Also use locks on your windows to make them tighter and draft resistant. Insulate or increase the amount of insulation in your attic, basement and outside walls. Also cover through-the-wall air conditioners to prevent cold air from leaking into your home. Reducing air leaks could cut 10 percent from an average household's monthly energy bill. The most common places where air escapes homes are: floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplaces, plumbing penetrations, doors, windows, fans, vents and electrical outlets. Keep shades and curtains open during the day on the south side of your home to allow solar heating. Close them at night to retain heat. Don't block your radiators or heating vents with furniture or draperies. Keep your radiators, registers and baseboard heaters dirt- and dust-free. Close vents and doors in unused rooms. Have your heating system serviced once a year and regularly replace furnace filters. During the heating season, change or clean furnace filters once a month. Close the fireplace damper when not in use. Place a sheet of aluminum foil between the radiator and the wall to reflect heat back into the room. Replacing your old central air conditioner with a new ENERGY STAR qualified model can reduce your cooling costs by 20 percent. If possible, keep your room air conditioner out of the sun. Room air conditioners work best when kept cool. Installing one in a north-facing wall is usually ideal. If you have central air conditioning, keep your thermostat at 78 degrees. You can also save approximately an additional six to seven percent off your cooling costs for each degree above 78. If your air conditioner does not have a thermostat, adjust it to a lower setting, or combine using it with a window or ceiling fan to cool things down. Consider installing a ceiling fan. During hot weather a ceiling fan will create a cool breeze and keep the air circulating in your home. Get rid of hot air. Use an exhaust fan to blow hot air out of your kitchen while you’re cooking. The savings on your cooling costs far outweigh the electricity used by the fan. Also, take lukewarm showers and baths to avoid humid air, which holds more heat. Close blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day. This keeps the strong sunlight from heating your home. Use your microwave or countertop appliances for cooking instead of the oven or stove. Instead of using your oven or stove, which can generate heat on an already hot day, fire up the outdoor grill for cooking. You can also use your microwave or other countertop appliances in place of the stove or oven. Postpone laundry and dishwashing until nighttime to avoid generating extra heat in your home. Also, consider taking advantage of the warmer air and dry your laundry outside. Don’t forget about your own energy. Wearing lighter clothing can help cool you down without turning on the air conditioner. Also, remember to stay hydrated during extreme temperatures. If you have a pool, turn off your filter overnight when the pool is not in use.