How to Save Energy at Home
Here are 10 simple yet meaningful to-dos to get you started...
1. Install a programmable thermostat.
You can save on heating and cooling costs simply by setting automatic temperature adjustments at nighttime or when you’re not home.
2. Work with the sun.
The sun is a powerful heat source. Use curtains and blinds to keep the sun out in the warmer months and let it in when it’s cold.
3. Maintain heating and cooling systems.
Keeping your HVAC working effectively and efficiently can make an impact on your power bill. Schedule your professional maintenance annually and replace filters regularly.
4. Seal windows.
A typical home loses 25 percent of its heat through its windows. Seal up older windows with caulk and heat-shrink plastic. Plastic can reduce heat loss even on newer windows.
5. Reduce water heating.
Lower the temp on your water heater to 120 and install low-flow showerheads.
6. Wash smarter.
Wash clothes in cold water (yes, cold water works), and use the fastest spin cycle to get the max amount of water out of the clothes.
7. Use a clothesline.
The dryer is one of the biggest energy hogs in your house. If you don’t have an outdoor line, a fold-up indoor rack works, too.
8. Get LED bulbs.
LEDs can last more than 20 years and use a fraction of the power of incandescent bulbs. Start with your most-used lights. Some states have programs that offer free bulbs or rebates. Check out the database at DSIREUSA.org.
9. Use power strips and turn them off regularly.
Some equipment and appliances use energy even when idle. Power strips let you turn things off for real, at the outlet.
10. Mind your devices.
Turn off your computer when you’re not using it. A laptop uses a lot less energy than a desktop, so opt for that when you can. And unplug your chargers — they draw energy even when nothing’s charging.