Each of us can help control energy use, and little changes can go a long way. Simple ideas, such as installing ENERGY STAR® qualified LED bulbs - or turning off and unplugging electrical appliances when not in use - can have big effects. These steps avoid energy waste, save money on energy bills, and help prevent pollution. When you manage your energy use, you help the environment.
Minnesota's Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives is partnering with Minnesota State Parks and Trails to bring you more ideas to help. Follow these tips from Minnesota's Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives to conserve energy, do your part for the environment, and save money.
Low-Cost and No-Cost Energy Tips
Open/Close Window Coverings
In the cooler months, take advantage of the sun’s heat by opening window coverings. In warmer months, close window coverings to keep the hot sun out.
Seal air leaks
Use caulk and weather stripping around drafty doors and windows to prevent air from escaping your home, causing your heating and cooling system to work harder.
Maintain heating and cooling systems
Have your heating and cooling system tuned up regularly and change your furnace filters monthly, or per manufacturer’s guidelines.
Operate your thermostat efficiently
Adjusting the temperature in your home by five to eight degrees (down in winter, up in summer) can help save energy if you’re going to be away from home for several hours or when you go to sleep at night. Consider installing a smart or programmable thermostat to maximize energy savings when you are home, asleep or away.
Turn stuff off
Turn off lights, electronics and fans when you leave a room. Don’t let “energy vampires” suck up your monthly bill.
Lower water heating costs
Set water heater temperature no higher than 120 degrees and insulate exposed hot water lines. If you have an electric water heater, consider putting it on a load management program.
Install energy-efficient lighting
Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy use. Replacing your home’s most frequently-used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR® LEDs will have a big impact.
Make sure refrigerator and freezer seals fit tightly when doors close. Keep outside coils clean. Dirty coils make your refrigerator compressor work longer to remove heat. And setting your freezer below zero or your refrigerator below 37 degrees uses extra energy.
Common Energy Myths
There are many misconceptions about home energy use. Don’t be fooled by these common energy myths.