Proven Tips on Saving Energy and Money at Home
Your Heating and Cooling System is the Largest Energy User. During the Summer Months, cooling is the most significant part of most residential electric bills.
If you’re at home more than usual, you should monitor your usage to catch problems before they get too big or make sure there are no surprises when the power bill arrives.
By following just a few of these simple tips, you can make your home more comfortable and easier to cool—while you save money.
Some of these tips are simple to do. Others require more effort and investment, but promise big savings over the years.
16 Ways to Cut Down Your Daily Electricity Usage
- Make Sure All Lighting is LED. It is a worthwhile investment.
- Turn Off Lights When Not In Use. Even Today’s Energy-Efficient LEDs Still Produce Some Heat.
- Turn Appliances and Electronics Off When Not In Use.
- Only Run the Washer, Dryer, and Dishwasher When Full.
- Avoid Using Heat-Producing Appliances—Ovens, Ranges, and Dryers—During the Hot Part of the Day.
- Change Air Conditioner Filters at Recommended Intervals
- Keep Items or Debris Away From the Outdoor Unit
- Limit Door and Window Openings When Running the System
- When Cooling, Set the Temperature Higher and Use Ceiling or Box Fans to Supplement the Power of Your Air Conditioner.
- Turn Off Ceiling Fans When You Leave the Room.
- Partially Close Blinds, Shades, or Curtains to Keep the Sun’s Rays Out.
- When Heating, Set the Thermostat to a Lower Temperature and Wear Extra Clothes.
- Remind Your Kids to Keep Outside Doors Closed.
- Apply Caulk to Cracks Around Windows and Doors and Replace with Weatherstripping.
- Don’t Pile Things Like Garden Tools Around Your Air Conditioner’s Outdoor Unit.
- Make Sure Plants, Shrubs, or Coverings Designed to Hide the Unit Aren’t Too Close to Hamper Air Circulation.
Move Furniture Away From Vents
Take a quick look around the house and ensure that none of the vents are being blocked.
If they are, find a way to move the furniture so that each room can reach its cooling or warming potential.
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Reduce Your Home Energy Costs with These Helpful Tips
Upgrade Your Refrigerator
A new model may reduce your electric bill by about $350 over five years. Also, your electric company may offer a rebate to its customers for buying an energy-efficient appliance.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats allow you to program your home’s HVAC system and are designed to learn your behavior over time.
They automatically adjust the temperature to accommodate your habits and meet your energy needs.
Medium- to High-Cost Tips
- Have a licensed and trusted HVAC contractor service the air conditioner.
- Add insulation to the home’s attic if its level is less than R-30.
Are You Traveling Out of Town For a Few Days?
Many of us mistakenly think that an empty home will automatically reduce our energy bill.
In fact, a home’s electrical devices are consuming energy all the time, whether the house is occupied or not.
5 Ways to Instantly Save Energy When You’re Away
1. ADJUST THE THERMOSTAT
There’s no sense cooling your home when you’re away. To save energy, set your thermostat at 85 degrees.
At 85 degrees, you’ll prevent excessive heat and humidity buildup that can damage electronics, computers, furniture, and structural components.
2. CLOSE THE BLINDS AND CURTAINS
Windows let in light, which creates excess heat. Closing window coverings provide an added layer of insulation and reduces strain on the AC.
It also provides additional security.
3. SET A TIMER
Set timers on indoor and outdoor lights to turn them on for a few hours each night. This conserves energy and provides added security by creating the illusion that someone is home.
4. PULL THE PLUG
Unplug the “energy vampires” in your home. Energy vampires are electronic appliances that use energy even when they’re turned off.
Even though each draws only a small amount of power, the average home has 20 to 40, so the energy use adds up.
Pulling the plugs can also protect your devices from surges and reduce fire risk.
5. TURN OFF THE WATER HEATER
A water heater can represent up to 25 percent of a home’s energy bill.
The unit’s elements will consume electricity to keep the water in the tank hot whether you’re home or not.
Turn off the water heater at the circuit breaker panel when you leave.
Upon returning, flip the same breaker back on.
5 Tips on Saving Energy with the Water Heater
- Fix All Leaks and Drips.
- Don’t Let Hot Water Run Needlessly.
- Insulate Hot Water Pipes.
- If Your Water Heater is Warm to the Touch, Consider Wrapping it in an Insulating Blanket.
- Lower the Water Heater’s Temperature to 120 degrees.
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8 Speedy Ways to Conserve Water at Home
- Don’t Leave the Water Running When Washing Dishes.
- Thaw Frozen Foods in the Refrigerator or a Bowl of Water Rather Than Under Running Water.
- Only Wash Full Loads of Clothes and Dishes.
- Turn Off the Faucet While You Brush Your Teeth or Shave.
- Use a Broom to Clean Walkways and Driveways Instead of a Water Hose
- Water Plants Early in the Morning to Reduce Evaporation
- Use Auto Shut-Off Nozzles on Your Water Hose
- Install Rain Barrels to Collect Rainwater
DISHWASHERS: With modern dishwashers, it’s not necessary to pre-wash dishes.
Just scrape them off thoroughly into the garbage and load them.
You’ll save about 55,000 gallons of water over the lifetime of the dishwasher.
That could save about $280.
Plus, it’s good for the environment and will avoid lots of unnecessary work.
Routinely Check Your Faucets and Toilets for Leaks
Finding and stopping water leaks in your home not only helps conserve our water resources but can also save you money on your water bill.
TOILETS: Take a look inside the tank before you pay a plumber a minimum of $75 for a service call.
Usually, a running toilet means the “flapper” at the bottom of the bank isn’t closing properly.
Sometimes, adjusting the flapper chain or cleaning the seal does the trick, or you might need a new $5 flapper, which almost anyone can install within a few minutes.
Update every sink and tub with a new faucet or aerator marked with the WaterSense label.
Aerators, which mix air into the water, can cut water consumption by 700 gallons per year, an annual savings of up to $350.
Washing Your Car
It can be satisfying to wash your car at home, but it can also be a source of water pollution.
Soaps and detergents can be harmful to the environment—even biodegradable soaps.
Water that enters a storm drain goes directly into local waterways unfiltered.
2 Options To Avoid Polluting Surface Waters on Your Property
- Wash Your Car Over Grass or Gravel so that the soapy water soaks into the ground where microbes degrade the ingredients and hold them in place, preventing water pollution.
- Take Your Vehicle to a Commercial Car Wash. Most car washes recycle water and end up using less water than a typical at-home car wash.
These small changes can add up to some significant results.
Reducing your household water use by just 17 gallons per day can save you over $100 on your water bill each year.
The top Energy Star-Certified Washers can save you as much as $185 a year if your machine is more than 10 years old.
Start a new load of laundry while the dryer is still warm. The machine doesn’t have to warm up again; saving you energy dollars.
And don’t forget to clean the lint filter so your dryer will continue to run efficiently.
More Energy Efficient Resources
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Your Heating and Cooling System is the Largest Energy User. During the Summer Months, cooling is the most significant part of most residential electric bills. If you’re at home more than usual, you should monitor your usage to catch problems before they get too big or make sure there are no surprises when the power…