30 Ways to Save Energy at Home
Saving energy should really start at home. Each of us needs to be aware of the amount of energy we use (or waste), as only then will we take action to curb our energy usage and opt for more environmentally-friendly alternatives (solar, wind, micro-hydro and other sustainable sources of energy). To get you started, here are 30 ways to save energy (and save money) at home:
- During the summer, raise your thermostat when you are away and try to stay above 78° F when you’re at home. As Energy.gov states, “The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.”
- If you don’t already have one, install a programmable thermostat.
- Clean/replace the air filters on your AC unit regularly.
- Keep your doors and windows closed when running the AC (or heat).
- Check for places where air could escape (around windows, under doors, etc.) and seal those up.
- Close vents in rooms you are not using. No reason to spend more to cool empty rooms.
- Plant shrubs or trees nearby windows to help prevent direct sunlight from shining in.
- Close window blinds and shades to prevent direct sunlight from heating up your home.
- Do the exact opposite in winter…open those blinds as direct sunlight can help heat your home and keep you warm.
- Turn off lights during the day and let nature brighten up your home.
- Use your washing machine only during the evening hours.
- Only do full loads of laundry.
- Wash with cold water rather than hot or warm.
- Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
- Instead of doing laundry periodically throughout the week, wash and dry multiple loads back-to-back.
- Be sure your dryer vents outside your home, not inside (as this would raise indoors temps).
- Clean out your dryer’s lint filter after each load.
- If you can air dry your clothes, do it.
- Only use the dishwasher when full and in the evening hours.
- Dust the coils on the back of your fridge, so accumulated dust doesn’t affect how well your fridge runs.
- Keep your freezer full. When your freezer is full, it uses less energy to maintain the cold temps.
- When using your oven, refrain from constantly checking on your dish. Every time you open the oven door, the temperature drops.
- Grill outside when the weather allows to help keep indoor air cooling costs down.
- Unplug appliances when not in use. This allows you to reduce phantom energy costs.
- Plug other electronic devices into a power strip, then turn off the power strip when not in use.
- Be sure to unplug chargers once your devices are fully charged (you can even opt for a solar charger, like the ones from Solar Tab, to charge your cell phone, computer and other gear).
- Put your computer in hibernate or sleep mode when you are not using it.
- Buy energy-saving appliances.
- Replace your existing light bulbs with CLFs.
- Use motion detectors for outside lights, so the lights don’t have to be on all night long.
Whether you try one or use them all, I’m sure you’ll find your energy usage will go down. This will not only save you money in the short- and long-term, it will be better for the environment as well. Then, when your budget warrants and the time is right, you can figure out the renewable energy source(s) which most suits your needs and go for that!
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This list has pretty much all the various ways you can save on energy. For example:
– as you mentioned a programmable thermostat which can save you around $150 annually
– replacing your air filters regularly which can save an additional $10-$20 a month on energy costs
– buying energy star certified appliances which can rack up an additional $75 a year in savings
Awesome list. I wrote a similar piece on this topic and included the estimated savings amount per energy savings strategy along with a free home energy efficiency quiz on my site.