Tips for Saving Money

Tips on Saving Money on your Heating Bills

The Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) offers suggestions to save money on your heating bills:

Heating & Cooling

  1. For heating, set your thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees during the day and at 58-60 degrees at night or when away from home for more than a few hours.
  2. Wear hats, sweaters or socks to retain body heat
  3. For cooling set your thermostat no lower than 78 degrees
  4. Look for energy leaks and plug holes and cracks in walls and windows
  5. Cover the inside of windows tightly with plastic
  6. Insulate your attic, outer walls, and basement
  7. Replace furnace filters and window air conditioning filter regularly
  8. Close doors and windows to rooms in the house that aren’t used often
  9. In the summer, close window shades and curtains to reduce the amount of sunlight that comes in and in the winter open shades to allow sunlight
  10. Set your water heater temperature at 120 degrees and/or on low or warm
  11. Close fireplace damper when not in use – air goes up/down

Washer & Dryer

  1. Select the lowest temperature setting on the washer necessary to do the job
  2. Wash one large load instead of two or three small loads and Use cold water for the rinse cycle
  3. Select the correct water level for each load
  4. Clean lint vent after every use and dry two or more loads in a row

Lighting & Kitchen

  1. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in fixtures
  2. Turn off lights, computers, and other electronic equipment when not in use
  3. Clean your light bulb to get more per bulb and use daylight whenever possible
  4. Never boil water in an uncovered pan and keep range-top burners and reflectors clean
  5. Turn off the oven five to ten minutes before cooking time is up and let trapped heat finish cooking your meal
  6. Avoid opening the oven door to check the food repeatedly
  7. Use a toaster oven, crockpot, or small microwave when cooking small to moderate sized meals
  8. Scrape dishes and rinse with cold water from the faucet before loading them in the dishwasher.
  9. Avoid using the dishwasher’s pre-rinse cycle
  10. Avoid using the “rinse-hold” on your dishwasher for just a few soiled dishes. It uses three to seven gallons of hot water each time you use it
  11. Turn on outdoor lights only when needed
  12. Consider using timers, motion detectors, heat sensors or photocell controls for light fixtures when possible

Refrigerator & Freezer

  1. Keep your refrigerator at 38-40 degrees and your freezer at 5 degrees.
  2. Limit the number of times the doors are opened and remove dust from coils and cooling elements
  3. Let hot items cool before placing them in the refrigerator
  4. Defrost freezer regularly and keep refrigerator and freezer away from heat sources


  1. Take showers rather than tub bath and limit your showering time
  2. Don’t let water run while shaving, brushing your teeth or applying your make-up
  3. Repair leaky faucets immediately

Electricity Use & Home Appliances

Food Preparation Electricity Use
Appliance Typical Wattage KW Used Per Yr.
Coffee Maker 1,200 80
Dishwasher 1 170
Microwave Oven 400 – 1,200 40 – 200
Range with Oven 12,200 500 – 700
Range with Self-cleaning Oven 12,200 600 – 800

Food Preservation Electricity Use
Appliance Size in Cubic Feet KW Used PerYr.
Freezer – Manual Defrost 20 790
Refrigerator/Freezer – Manual Defrost 14 710
Refrigerator/Freezer – Automatic Defrost 19 820

Laundry Electricity Use
Appliance Typical Wattage KW Used Per Yr.
Clothes Dryer 5,000 770
Iron (Hand) 1,100 50
*Automatic Washing Machine 512 145
Water Heater 4,500 4,811

Comfort Conditioning Electricity Use
Appliance Typical Wattage KW Used Per Yr.
Air Conditioner (room) 5,000-12,000 Btu 620-1,630
Fan (ceiling) 88 50
Fan (window) 200 10-30
Fan (rollaway) 171 60
Heater (portable) 1500 240-1,000
Furnace Fan 300 – 750 300 – 900

Health and Beauty Electricity Use
Appliance Typical Wattage KW Used Per Yr.
Hair Dryer 1,200 20 – 70
Shaver 15 1

Home Entertainment Electricity Use
Appliance Typical Wattage KW Used Per Yr.
Radio 20-50 20-50
Television (B&W Solid State) 45 90
Television (color Solid State) 100 100-300
Home Computer 150 80-170
VCR 30 20-60

Sources – Pepco website, BGE, OPC, Edison Electric, MEA, etc.


You have control on your energy consumption and you can reduce your energy bill by cutting down on your usage.