Energy Saving Tips

Office equipment, such as desktop printers, copiers, and lights are often overlooked when faculty and staff leave at the end of the day. Turning these items off at night and over weekends can save up to 75% of the energy they would otherwise consume.

Every one has an opportunity to reduce energy on campus. Here are some ways do it:


  1. Turn off all computer equipment unless in use, especially at night and on weekends
  2. Screen savers do not save energy. Use power management features so your computer monitor and hard drive will go into “sleep mode” when not in
  3. Turn off your monitor when you leave your desk to go to lunch or to a meeting
  4. Turn off monitors on servers
  5. Enable power management features on laser printers and/or turn off laser printers when not printing
  6. Buy low wattage equipment certified by the EPA’s “EnergyStar” program and be sure to enable power management features when setting up


  1. Use natural lighting instead of electric lighting whenever possible
  2. Turn off unused or unneeded lights
  3. Try task lighting and reduce overhead lighting
  4. Use LED bulbs in desk lamps
  5. Halogen floor lamps are very energy wasteful and may pose a safety risk

Heating and Cooling

  1. Dress for the season and keep thermostats set to achieve 68 – 70 degrees F in the winter and 74 – 76 degrees F for air-conditioned spaces in
    the summer
  2. During the cooling season close blinds, drapes and curtains to block direct sun
  3. During the heating season, open blinds, drapes and curtains to let sun in. If no sun, close them to keep the heat in especially at night
  4. Use hot water sparingly


  1. Purchase energy-efficient models
  2. Turn off all energy consuming office and research equipment when not in use, e.g. copiers, refrigerators, environmental rooms, etc.

The U.S Department of Energy states that heating and cooling account for over 40% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes.


  1. Set your home thermostat to a temperature as low as comfortable (65 – 68 degrees F is suggested) when the house is occupied
  2. Set back your thermostat by as much as 10 degrees F at night or when the house is unoccupied during the day
  3. Set back the thermostat to 50 – 55 degrees F when the house is unoccupied for over 24 hours
  4. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically provide the setbacks mentioned above
  5. Close the fireplace damper – except during fireplace use
  6. Reduce heat to unused rooms in the house by closing doors and heat registers
  7. Replace furnace filters once a month during the heating season
  8. Keep objects away from and clean heating registers regularly
  9. Have certified maintenance personnel service and check your furnace regularly
  10. Minimize the use of kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans or install a timer switch on them
  11. Install insulating gaskets behind electrical outlets and switch plates on exterior walls
  12. Caulk and weather strip doors and windows
  13. Caulk and seal leaks where plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors, and ceiling
  14. Upgrade ceiling insulations to R-36 (higher R values mean greater insulation levels and thus more energy savings)
  15. Insulate exterior heated basement walls to at least R-11
  16. Insulate floors over unheated areas to R-19
  17. Install storm windows over single pane windows
  18. Replace aging furnace, when needed, with an energy efficient model
  19. Replace single pane windows with energy efficient double pane windows mounted in non-conducting window frames


  1. Open windows at night to bring in cool night air; close them during the day
  2. Close drapes during the day
  3. Shade west facing windows
  4. Draw cool night air into the house with a whole house fan
  5. Use room air conditioning only where needed and install energy efficient models
  6. Install a central system air conditioner only when whole house air condition is needed
  7. Maintain an air conditioned house at 78 degrees F or higher using a programmable thermostat to set the temperature higher during the day
  8. Regularly change air conditioning system filters and clean the condenser
  9. Plant deciduous shade trees on the west and south sides of your house

Hot Water

  1. Repair leaky faucets
  2. Reduce the temperature setting of your water heater to warm (120 degrees F)
  3. Install low-flow showerheads
  4. Add an insulating blanket to your water heater
  5. Wash clothes in warm or cold water using the appropriate water level setting for the load
  6. Replace water heater, when needed, with an energy efficient model

Major & Small Appliances

  1. Maintain refrigerator at 37 – 40 degrees F and freezer at 5 degrees F
  2. For cooking small meals, use toaster ovens or microwaves
  3. Adjust the flame on gas cooling appliances so it’s blue, not yellow
  4. Replace a gas cooling appliance with a unit with an automatic, electric ignition system
  5. Run the dishwasher in the evening with a full load of dishes
  6. Air dry dishes in a dishwasher
  7. Regularly clean the lint filter on your dryer and inspect the dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked
  8. Shut down home computers when not in use
  9. Select appliances (i.e. curling irons, coffee pots, irons) with time limited shut off switches
  10. Replace aging major appliances, TVs and VCRs when needed, with energy efficient models
  11. Compare the annual energy consumption and operating cost for each appliance by looking at the bright-yellow and black Energy Guide label when shopping for new appliances


  1. Turn off light when not in use
  2. Use task lighting whenever possible instead of overhead lighting
  3. Install compact LED lamps in fixtures

Last updated: 5/1/2018

Environmental Health & Safety

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