Easy Ways to Save Energy in Your Home

By: Danny Lipford

CFL bulbs

You don’t have to empty your bank account to reduce your energy and water bills. In fact, adopting these simple tips will actually save you money while helping the environment at the same time. So whether you’re interested in going green to reduce your carbon footprint, or gaining green in your wallet, it makes sense to save energy.

Lighting

  • Turn lights off when not in use.
  • Install motion sensor or timer activated yard lights.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs.

attic insulation

Heating and Cooling

  • Turn the thermostat down in winter and up in summer.
  • Lower thermostat when away from home and asleep at night.
  • Open curtains or shades on the south and west sides of your house on sunny days during cold weather.
  • Close curtains or shades at night during the winter.
  • Close curtains or shades on the sunny sides of house during the day in hot weather.
  • Run paddle fans clockwise on low during the winter to circulate air, and counterclockwise during the summer (when in room) to feel cooler.
  • Check ductwork on HVAC system for leaks. Patch ducts with metallic tape or duct mastic.
  • Change your air filter every 1-3 months.
  • Check to be sure the fireplace damper is closed when not in use.
  • Install solar blocking film on windows.
  • Weather strip around doors and windows.
  • Install foam gaskets on plugs and switches on exterior walls.
  • Insulate fold-down attic stairs.
  • Caulk cracks and gaps around outside of house.
  • Add insulation to attic.
  • Plant deciduous trees on south and west sides of house.

changing air filter

Electronics

  • Turn off TV and computers when not in use.
  • Set energy saving options on computers to put on standby when not in use.
  • Unplug chargers for cell phones and tools when not needed.

Washing and Drying Clothes

  • Clean the lint filter and vent pipe regularly on clothes dryer.
  • Don’t overload the dryer.
  • Dry clothes on a clothes line rather than in the dryer.
  • Wash clothes in cold water.
  • Run only full loads of clothes in the washer.

draining water heater

Hot Water

  • Turn hot water heater down to 120° F.
  • Insulate hot water pipes.
  • Drain water heater yearly.

Kitchen

  • Use microwave rather than oven for cooking.
  • Use a crock pot instead of oven and burners for cooking.
  • Run only full loads in dishwasher.
  • Don’t prerinse dishes before putting in dishwasher.
  • Turn off dishwasher drying cycle, open door and air dry instead.
  • Clean coils on refrigerator.

Bathroom

  • Take showers rather than baths.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and aerators.
  • Repair running toilets, dripping faucets, and leaking pipes.
  • Replace old toilets with water efficient, dual-flush models.

sprinkler

Lawn and Garden

  • Install motion detectors on outside lights to reduce use.
  • Water the lawn and plants sparingly if at all.
  • Collect rainwater from gutters in rain barrels for watering.
  • Set lawn mower blade higher and cut grass less often.
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5 Comments on “Easy Ways to Save Energy in Your Home”

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  • Official Comment:


    Ben Erickson Says:
    January 10th, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Chris,
    Draining a hot water heater annually removes any sediment that has settled to the bottom of the tank. Accumulated sediment in the tank can make a water heater more inefficient by reducing the space the usable hot water occupies. Watch our video to find out how to drain a water heater at http://www.todayshomeowner.com/video/how-to-drain-a-water-heater/



  • chris Says:
    January 10th, 2015 at 6:54 am

    I never knew you were supposed to drain the water heater every year. What does that accomplish? thanks for the tips.



  • BarBara Winnicki Says:
    November 1st, 2014 at 9:58 am

    connect microwave to a surge protector with a switch, and turn it off when not in use. Who needs another blinking clock in their kitchen? Same goes with TV, DVR and other electronics. Also put your lamps on a timer, so you are sure they are off during daylight hours. And check with your energy company for the “peak” hours and do your laundry during “off peak” hours. Look around, your house is full of places you can save money.



  • Rupert Says:
    October 31st, 2014 at 8:13 am

    The draining of the Water Heater is not wise as the build up that you are cleaning out will clog the rubber seat and it will leak.



  • Dorothy Kirk Says:
    November 1st, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Thank you so much for the information about closing heating/cooling vents. Since this house tends to h/c unevenly on one side, I really have tried that.


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