Keep your thermostat set at 78 degree Fahrenheit; or higher, and on "auto," not "on." Each degree can mean up to 9% savings on cooling costs.
If your central or room air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it could be doubling your cooling costs.
Use ceiling fans to circulate air. They use about as much electricity as a light bulb and can make you feel comfortable at higher thermostat settings. Oh, and do not forget to turn fans off when you leave the room.
Clean or replace your air conditioner filter monthly so your air conditioner runs efficiently.
Plan ahead! Schedule heat-producing activities like laundry, ironing, and cooking at cooler times of day when possible.
Turn off lights when not needed, especially incandescent and halogen types.
Be aware of temperatures! If it's cooler inside than outside, then close all windows and drapes. If it's cooler outside, open everything up to ventilate and let the outside air cool your house.
Use drapes, shades, awnings and reflective materials to reduce the heat entering through glass.
Use room exhaust fans in the kitchen, laundry and bathroom to pull hot, humid air up and out.
Apply weather stripping and caulking around all doors and windows to keep the chilled air inside your house.
Install a setback thermostat (Clock thermostat) that automatically switches your air conditioner to a higher cooling setting while you are away.
Refrigeration / Freezing
Take a quick shower rather than a bath and save an average of 20 gallons (76 liters) of water.
Install a water-efficient shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) per minute. (Replace an existing shower head if a one gallon bucket placed under the flow takes less than 20 seconds to fill).
Install aerators on your kitchen and bathroom faucets to reduce indoor water use by as much as 4%.
Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving and save more than 5 gallons (19 liters) per day.
Clean vegetables in a sink or pan partially filled with water rather than running water from the tap.
Reuse the water that vegetables are washed in for watering houseplants or for cleaning.
If you wash dishes by hand, rinse them in a sink partially filled with clean water instead of under running water.
Instead of waiting for tap water to get cold enough for drinking, keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator.
Whenever possible, compost food scraps or dispose of them in the garbage rather than using the garbage disposal which requires a high level of water for operation.
The third highest use of indoor water is bathing, and because most of us like to use warm water when we bathe, it's also the second highest use of energy in the home.
Water before 8am or after 6pm and avoid watering on windy days.
Water in several short sessions rather than one long one. For example, three ten-minute sessions spaced 30 minutes to an hour apart will allow your lawn to better absorb moisture than one straight 30 minute session.
Only water when your lawn is thirsty. Over watering promotes shallow root growth making your lawn less hardy. (To determine if your lawn needs to be watered, simply walk across the grass. If you leave footprints, it's time to water).
Install moisture sensors in each irrigation zone (sunny, shady, etc.) to better determine irrigation needs.
Check sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks and keep the heads in good repair. Adjust the timer on automatic sprinklers according to seasonal water demands and weather conditions. Install a rain shutoff device on automatic sprinklers to eliminate unneeded applications. Make sure your sprinkler is placed so it only water the lawn, not the pavement. Avoid sprinklers that spray a fine mist, which increases evaporation.
Install a drip irrigation system for watering gardens, trees and shrubs. Drip irrigation provides a slow, steady trickle of water to plants at their roots through a network of hidden pipes and hoses. The systems are regulated by a controller that can be adjusted for different levels of watering according to the needs of the plants. Drip irrigation systems reduce over watering, inefficient watering, weed growth, and the time and labor involved in hand watering.
As much as 30% of water can be lost to evaporation by watering the lawn during midday. Homes with in-ground sprinkler systems use 35% more water outdoors than those who do not have an in ground system. One reason may be that system controllers are not adjusted according to seasonal irrigation needs.