Small, everyday changes in your power consumption can be easy to make. They don’t cost much, but they can add up to real energy savings. Here are 31 tips — one for each day of the month, plus a few bonus suggestions — for ways to save energy at home in your daily life with very little effort. Some of these ideas are obvious, some not so much, but all are simple ways to save energy that are good for the environment and could potentially help with your monthly energy bill too.
Select a section below for ways to save energy in your home
The key to saving energy at home every day is to stay aware and motivated. Print this poster and put it up somewhere you and your family will see it. If you have little kids, they can color it as a fun way to include them and inspire them to do their part.
The easy way to save energy at home is to make small changes in habits and to perform some basic regular maintenance. Here’s a comprehensive list of energy-saving strategies to work into your daily life — summer, winter and year-round.
In most homes, appliances are the major drivers of energy use. These simple adjustments are great ways to save energy:
Your clothes washer and dishwasher are designed to run most efficiently with full loads. And more than that, if you run them only when full, you run them less often, which really cuts energy use.
Clothes washers and laundry detergents are designed to work efficiently with cold water. If you only wash with hot water when you need to disinfect, you could save $60 or more a year.
Every appliance runs more efficiently when filters are clear of dust and door seals are free of gunk.
The temperature in your oven can drop 25 degrees or more every time you open the oven door.
The longer the fridge door is open, the harder the appliance has to work to maintain a cool temperature. Decide what you want in advance to minimize the amount of time the fridge or freezer door is open.
Smart assistants make it possible to control your appliances, even while away. With smart assistant routines, you can control your appliances and turn them off remotely to save time and energy.
Sometimes the best way to save energy is simply not to use it at all. Here are some energy-saving tips that involve letting nature take its course:
There’s nothing quite like the smell of sheets, towels and clothes that have been dried out in the fresh air. Consider air-drying clothes on an old-fashioned clothes line or even hanging them inside the house. Alternatively, use an energy-efficient dryer.
Select the air-dry option on your dishwasher. Crack it open after the rinse cycle and your dishes will dry without a single kilowatt being used. You’ll also save energy by keeping your kitchen cooler.
Even the most efficient windows allow energy to pass through. Sunlight beating down all day can really heat your interior. At night, close curtains and blinds to create another layer of insulation. During the day, let the light shine in during cold weather, but block it when it’s hot.
Make the most of natural light with bright decorating choices, strategically placed mirrors and putting workspaces near windows so that you don’t need to keep the lights on all day.
Changing your habits will have a major effect on your power use. When thinking about ways to save energy at home, putting thought into the little things has a big impact.
Traditional light bulbs waste 95% of the energy they use giving off heat, with only 5% going toward light. Switch them out or use them sparingly. Leaving them on for long periods is highly wasteful.
Cut the energy used by your hot water heater by taking shorter, cooler showers. Consider that a typical shower uses 2.5 gallons of hot water a minute. Cutting your daily shower by four minutes will save 3,650 gallons a year.
Leaving your computer on while idle wastes electricity and shortens the life of your machine. The same goes for televisions, printers and other electronics. If you see the indicator light on, you’re burning power needlessly.
Many devices, including battery chargers, draw power continuously, even when not in use. Cut so-called vampire power consumption and save a bundle.
Reduce energy use at home by adjusting the thermostat day and night, as well as when you’re away or at work.
Heating water is the third-largest use of energy in most homes. Turning down the thermostat a few degrees cuts consumption without reducing comfort.
You use much less energy than by leaving your computer on with a screen saver.
This setting uses 3 to 7 more gallons of water than a regular wash cycle.
If you have a heat pump, quickly raising its temperature activates the heat strip, which uses more energy.
Get chores done without plugging something in. Think of a broom instead of a vacuum. And if you do use an appliance, right-sizing to a smaller appliance helps. A hand-held mini-vac uses less energy than your full-size upright.
You’d be surprised how much you can cook, beyond just warming leftovers, in these energy-saving appliances.
An electric dishwasher doesn’t just save effort; it saves energy, using 5,000 fewer gallons of hot water per year compared to washing by hand.
It focuses energy on efficient heating, boiling water faster with less electricity.
Here are a few things you can buy that increase the energy efficiency of your current appliances. They don’t cost much money and don’t require expert installation, which make them easy ways to save energy at home.
Turn the power strips off when equipment is not in use. You’ll stop these devices from using energy when idle with one convenient switch.
Shower heads that give good water pressure with fewer gallons per minute (under 2.5 gpm are best) will cut water and energy consumption.
Choose aerators with a flow rate of no more than 1.0 gpm for maximum savings.
These can reduce standby heat loss by 25%–45% and save about 4%–9% in water heating costs.
Modern appliances are dramatically more efficient than they were even 10 years ago. Whether in your kitchen, your laundry room or your office, ENERGY STAR® options make it easy to compare and find what will work best and use the least electricity.
LEDs and CFLs use a fraction of the energy of traditional incandescent bulbs — and they last longer.
From air conditioners to coffee makers, you’ll find multiple ways to save energy and money by buying new ENERGY STAR® products.
Computers, televisions, game systems and printers make big demands on home energy use as well. These also come with ENERGY STAR® ratings to help you make efficient choices.
It isn’t enough to buy energy-efficient products and use them with care. You may still be wasting energy if your home isn’t well insulated. Here are the common problem areas in most homes:
Some 20%-30% of warm or cool air in your home is lost to leaky air ducts.
Keeping water hot while traversing pipes by adding insulation can raise its temperature at the point of use between 2 and 4 degrees Fahrenheit. You can turn down your hot water heater without sacrificing comfort.
Clean appliances and a clean home will keep everything running at optimum energy efficiency. Less dust in the air is healthier, and less gunk in your systems means they run smoothly and use less electricity.
In a typical house, you can save 25%-40% on the energy your HVAC systems use by cleaning your air ducts regularly.
EnergyStar.gov recommends changing the air filters every three months. A dirty filter slows down airflow and makes the system work harder.
Cleaning the filter isn’t enough. Use the long nozzle on your vacuum to clean the ventilation tubing.
When you aren’t living in your house for a significant length of time, you can really save energy by adjusting your systems and disconnecting all but critical appliances. Check out these energy-saving tips for when you’re away from home:
Most models will quickly reheat the water when you return home.
You don’t have to go out of town to turn off your water heater. Timers can switch it off after your morning shower and switch it back on again just before you get home, saving the waste of it running all day.
Smart plugs allow you to remotely control appliances, lights and HVAC systems in your house, switching them off when you’re out and then back on when you return.
If you’re wondering why it’s important to save energy at home, the reasons are many. First of all, reducing power usage is better for the environment. You’ll help keep the air cleaner and conserve resources. Being energy-efficient is also budget-efficient — saving energy saves money.
Teaching your children ways to save energy at home makes them responsible at an early age and creates lifelong responsible habits. A few easy changes can preserve a happier and healthier world for generations to come.
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