Seasonal Energy Saving Tips

Throughout the year

Follow all recommended maintenance schedules for your equipment. This can save you money since properly maintained equipment operates more efficiently and lasts longer. To create a master calendar for preventive maintenance, refer to owner’s guides. If an owner’s guide is missing, contact the equipment manufacturer or a qualified local repair service for assistance. As you add or replace equipment, update your master maintenance calendar.

When daylight-savings time starts and ends

  • Adjust your timer controls and programmable thermostats.
  • Check all lighting timers to be sure they are turning interior and exterior lights on and off at appropriate times.
  • Clean all lamps, reflectors and lenses.

Before closing for weekends, holidays, or two or more days

  • Set back thermostats for heating or air conditioning (unless you have a programmable thermostat already set to do this automatically).
  • Turn off all lights except safety and security lights.
  • Turn off all unused office equipment, including computers, monitors, printers, copiers, fax machine and scanners.
  • On electric water heaters, check time-of-use controllers to be sure the water heater is set to turn off at closing time and on at opening time.
  • If your water-heating system includes a circulation pump, turn it off.

Before the winter heating season starts

  • Have a qualified technician test, clean and adjust your heating equipment.
  • Perform routine maintenance recommended by the manufacturer in your owner’s manual. This typically includes replacing dirty air filters; cleaning blower coils and heat exchanger surfaces; and adjusting belt drives, dampers valves and linkages.
  • Check thermostat accuracy.
  • Identify and repair leaky or disconnected ducts.
  • Caulk cracks around windows, doors and other openings.

During the winter heating season

  • Keep programmable thermostats set to turn heat on 30 minutes before people arrive and off 30 to 60 minutes before they leave. Set it no higher than 68F degrees during occupied periods.
  • Close curtains, shades and blinds at night and during unoccupied periods to help your building retain heat. Keep them open on sunny days.
  • Gradually decrease the temperature setting if occupants feel some areas are too warm.

Before the summer cooling season starts

  • Have a qualified technician test, clean and adjust your air-conditioning equipment.
  • Perform routine maintenance recommended by the manufacturer in your owner’s manual. This typically includes replacing dirty air filters and cleaning intake screens, condenser coils, supply registers and return grilles.
  • When budgeting, remember that the price per kilowatt-hour of electricity is approximately 20% higher from May 1 through Sept. 30 than during the rest of the year. This is due to a seasonal rate plan enacted by the California Public Utilities Commission in 2001 to encourage conservation and prevent outages.

During the summer cooling season

  • Keep programmable thermostats set to turn air conditioning on 30 minutes before people arrive and off 30 to 60 minutes before they leave. Set it no lower than 78F degrees during occupied periods.
  • Shade windows, doors and skylights with awnings, sunscreens and blinds.
  • Shut off exhaust fans when the rooms they serve are unoccupied unless health codes require constant ventilation.
  • Turn off air conditioning when not needed.
  • Carbon Calculator