EASY LOW-COST AND NO COST WAYS TO SAVE ON ENERGY.
- Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
- Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use—TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F. While many conventional water heaters are set to 140 degrees F by installers, most households don't need that much steam, and end up paying for it -- in dollars and the occasional scalding burn. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees F (or lower) would reduce your water heating costs by 6% to 10%.
- Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow showerheads for additional energy savings.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Air dry clothes.
- Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Heating and cooling
- It's natural to want to feel comfortable in your home; whether it's 30 or 105 degrees outside, chances are it's a comfortable 68 to 72 degrees inside. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for 54 percent of your home's energy costs. To keep your monthly bills from getting out of hand, try the following:
- Install a programmable thermostat to prevent the heater or AC from running when you're away from home.
- Give your heating system a tune up. You probably already know that cars need periodic tune-ups in order to run their best. Well the same is true for heating equipment. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5% of heating costs.
- Seal your windows and doors to ensure there are no air leaks. Simple leaks can sap home energy efficiency by 5% to 30% a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That means it pays to seal up gaps with caulking and weather stripping.
- Run ceiling fans in reverse. Most people think of fans only when they want to be cool, but many ceiling units come with a handy switch that reverses the direction of the blades. Counterclockwise rotation produces cooling breezes while switching to clockwise makes it warmer: air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space - cutting your heating costs as much as 10%!
- This one's really easy, and it will even save you a few pennies next summer, too: Simply drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes, and make sure you don't have excess water pooled in equipment. If your a/c has a water shutoff valve, go ahead and turn that off. Similarly, make sure any hoses are drained and stowed away neatly. Turn off exterior water spigots. It's also a good idea to seal any water leaks around the place -- and don't forget to remove any window A/C units and store them so you don't invite cold drafts all winter.
- Increase your wall and ceiling insulation to help maintain a comfortable temperature insulation is one of the best ways to save energy and money at home. It can make a big difference to add more insulation between walls, and make sure your attic floor and basement ceiling are well covered.
Water heating and Pipes
- Having hot water on demand accounts for 18 percent of your total energy bill. Long, hot showers definitely account for part of the problem, but washing your clothes in hot water is a big drain, too.
- Keep your showers short.
- Ditch hot-water laundering altogether. Opt for cold-water washing with cold-water detergents.
- Look into switching out your old washing machine for an Energy Star appliance. These use significantly less water, which saves even more energy.
- Insulate your pipes. Insulation is one of the best ways to save energy and money at home. It can make a big difference to add more insulation between walls, and make sure your attic floor and basement ceiling are well covered.
Large kitchen appliances
- When combined, your cooking and refrigeration costs account for eight percent of your total household energy drain.
- Ditch your old-school appliances and invest in an Energy Star oven, stove and fridge.
- Keep your freezer stocked and your fridge moderately filled. Frozen goods help keep the freezer cold, but overstuffing the fridge actually increases energy usage.
- Think about all the computers, electronics and small electrical appliances you have in your home: TVs, DVD players, cell phones, microwaves, toasters, coffeemakers and more. Even if they're not in use, plugged-in electronics draw electricity, accounting for roughly six percent of your total home energy costs.
- Unplug appliances when they're not in use, or plug them into a power strip with an "off" switch.
- Look into solar-powered charging docks for your personal electronics.
- When you're in the market for new appliances, look for Energy Star models.
- If possible, switch to battery-operated mixers, coffee grinders and other electronic kitchen tools. With the efficiency of today's rechargeable batteries, you could end up saving a lot over the course of their lifetimes.
- Lighting also accounts for about six percent of your home's energy costs.
- Be environmentally responsible and switch from incandescent and CFL bulbs to LED. LED bulbs can provide light for up to 50,000 hours -- roughly eight to 10 years.
- Solar lighting options have made great strides, so consider replacing your exterior lights with solar-powered versions.
- Turn the lights off! There's no need for light when nobody's home.