Knowing which devices are using the most energy in your home can help you save energy and money.
Here are three of the top energy users in your home:
Did you know that the heating system in your home typically represents 30% of your total energy usage? If your heating system is less than 20 years old, it should still have some life left in it. You can expect as many as 20 to 25 years of service from properly installed and maintained heating equipment. To help make this long service life a reality, it is a good idea to have your heating system inspected and adjusted on an annual basis. If your system is over 10 years old, then you should place it on an annual maintenance program. Good preventive maintenance will ensure that your system runs safely and efficiently for many years.
Air Conditioning Units (Central Unit and Room/Window Air Conditioners)
Air conditioning systems can last for 15 years or more. If your system doesn’t seem to be working as well as it used to, you should have a service person look at it to determine the likely cause of the problem. If there is a significant problem, simply comparing the price to repair the system with the cost of replacement will give you a good idea of what you should do. If your system is already over 10 years old, you may want to consider a new unit. Especially if you have a large home with a high cooling load, the annual savings from installing a new system may pay for itself in a short time. Lowering your thermostat to 68°F during the winter and 78°F in the summer can also help reduce your monthly energy bill. Be sure to keep your air conditioning unit well-tuned with periodic maintenance.
Water Heating System (Bathrooms, Clothes Washers and Dishwashers)
After heating and cooling, water heating is typically the next largest consumer of energy in the United States. In general, factors impacting water heater energy consumption can be separated into two categories – factors affecting the amount of hot water used and those affecting the efficiency of the water heating system. Factors impacting water usage are the use of water for bathing, showering, shaving, and other purposes as well as the use of clothes washers and dishwashers. Showering habits normally have the largest impact on water heating energy consumption. If your water heater is more than seven years old, you should consider purchasing one that is energy-efficient and most appropriately meets your needs.
Want more information about your own home’s energy usage? You can monitor and control your home energy usage through My Account. Also check out our Energy Savings Programs to learn more about conserving energy in your home.
More than half of home energy use goes to space cooling and heating. Here are a few tips to maximize your home’s cooling system while saving money and energy.
Install a whole-house ventilating fan in your attic or in an upstairs window to help air circulate in your home. Although not a replacement for a central air conditioning system, a fan is an effective way to stay comfortable on milder days. Remember to cover and insulate it during the winter to prevent heat loss.
Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn your air conditioner on. It will not cool faster, but it will cool to a lower temperature than you need and use more energy.
Consider using a ceiling fan with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air to other rooms. But be sure the air conditioner is large enough to help cool the additional space.
Keep lamps or television sets away from the thermostat. Heat from these appliances is sensed by the thermostat and could cause your system to run longer than necessary.
Keep lights low or off when not needed. Electric lights generate heat and add to the load on your air conditioner.
Plant shade trees strategically around your home. Properly selected and planted shade trees can save up to $80 annually on the average electric bill.
Use window or whole house ventilating fans to cool your home.
Use vents and exhaust fans to pull heat and moisture from the attic, kitchen, bath and laundry directly to the outside, if you don’t have air conditioning.
Enroll in Energy Wise Rewards to take more control over your energy usage and save money on energy costs.
Here’s a good idea. Turn down your thermostat a few degrees when you’re away from home to help reduce energy costs this winter.
Here’s a better idea. Use a programmable thermostat to decrease the temperature automatically and conveniently when away. Not only will you save money on your energy bill, but your home will be cozy when you return.
Don’t have a programmable thermostat? Sign up for our Energy Wise Rewards program and we’ll install a web-enabled one at no charge.
Setting a programmable thermostat to fit your schedule can save you up 10 percent on heating and cooling costs year-round. We’ll even give you credits on your energy bill for participating in the program.
If you forget to set it, you can always program your web-programmable thermostat remotely online through our My Account page at pepco.com.