March 2023: Should I Leave the Lights On? And Other Energy Questions.

There is no single answer to making your home energy efficient, but there are plenty of questions. As you look for ways to save energy, you might wonder what other homeowners are asking. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about home energy use that may help in your quest for a lower energy bill.

Should I leave the lights on when leaving a room for a short period?

It’s a good idea to turn off lights whenever you leave a room. In most cases, the small surge of power needed to turn on a light is much less than the power that is wasted by leaving it on when it’s not needed.

For lightbulbs, are lumens the same as watts?

Lumens measure light, while watts represent the power used. High-efficiency LEDs provide more lumens per watt than conventional bulbs. Although this saves energy, it makes shopping for bulbs more complicated. Lumens are now what matter most. “Watt equivalent” comparisons on lighting packages can help you choose the right product.

What’s the best thermostat setting for savings and comfort?

In winter, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a temperature setting of 68°F when you are at home and a lower setting at night or when you are away. In summer, set the thermostat at 78°F to stay comfortable when you are at home, and raise it to 85°F to save energy when your home is unoccupied.

Will closing vents help lower heating and cooling costs?

Closing or covering vents doesn’t save energy. Heating and cooling systems are balanced through the duct system; closing vents throws the system off balance. Pressure can build up in the ductwork, causing leaks and reducing the amount of air circulating in your home. This reduces system efficiency and comfort.

How much insulation does my home need?

Insulation is one of the most effective ways to reduce energy costs and improve home comfort. See Insulation from the U.S. Department of Energy insulation recommendations.

Looking for more information about how to reduce your energy bills? See Home Energy Saver from the U.S. Department of Energy or visit Crawfordsville Electric Light & Powers website at


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