Home Energy Tips
Explore many low-cost ways to save energy in your home.
Improving energy efficiency not only lowers your energy bills, it improves the comfort and quality of life for you and your family. You have the power to start saving today and for years to come with some low-cost measures and simple lifestyle modifications. Below are some tips compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy, which offers this comprehensive Energy Saver Guide.
Simple Ways to Save
- Use ceiling and oscillating fans. Fans will help you feel cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The moving air evaporates moisture from your skin so that you feel cooler without having to adjust the thermostat. In the winter, switch the rotation of the fan blades to clockwise to pull warm air down from the ceiling and redistribute it to warm the room. Fan blades should be switched to operate counterclockwise in the summer to pull the warm air up and away from you.
- Adjust the thermostat a few degrees. Turning the thermostat up just a few degrees up in the summer or down in the winter can add up to big savings in your heating and cooling costs. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter or to the level that’s comfortable and safe for your family.
- Use best laundry practices. Up to 85 percent of the energy used by a clothes washing machine goes to heat the water. To save energy, use the warm or cold water settings and do only full loads. When using the dryer, clean the lint tray after each use and run concurrent loads so that the dryer doesn’t need to reheat after each load. You should also run the dryer when it’s cooler so that your air conditioning doesn’t need to work harder. If your washer and dryer are more than 10 years old, consider replacing them with new ENERGY STAR®-certified models.
- Caulk and weatherstrip. Caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows is an inexpensive and highly effective way to prevent drafts and air leaks.
- Switch to LED bulbs. You can cut your energy costs instantly by replacing all of your traditional incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR-rated LED bulbs. They use up to 90 percent less energy than standard bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. They also generate up to 90 percent less heat to help reduce your home cooling costs. Explore energystar.gov to learn more.
- Plant shade trees. Planting shade trees around your home – especially on the south and west sides – helps reduce solar heat gain in the summer and serves as a wind break when it’s colder. Deciduous trees with high, spreading leaves and branches provide maximum roof shading in the summer. Trees or shrubs with foliage lower to the ground are more effective on the west side of the home to provide shade from the late afternoon sun. Explore more landscaping tips: Energy Saver 101: Everything You Need to Know About Landscaping.
- Take shorter showers. Cutting your 15-minute shower in half can help you save water and energy by reducing your water heating costs. Installing low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators also can help you conserve water and energy. These simple measures can add up to big savings for your household in just a year.
- Block out radiant heat with window treatments. Close blinds, shades and curtains to keep out the sun and heat in the summer, and open them up in the winter to let in the sun’s radiant heat warm your home.
- Maintain your heating/cooling system and change filters regularly. Heating and cooling costs account for nearly half of the energy use and largest expense for a typical home. You can reduce your home energy costs by maintaining your heating and cooling system, changing filters regularly as recommended to improve air flow and maintaining clear air paths to vents and ducts. All of these will allow your system to work more efficiently and lower energy use.