Energy Saving Tips

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Free and Low Cost Recommendations

Replace Light Bulbs

  • Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and save 75% off lighting costs.

Unplug Electronics

  • Unplug electronics, battery chargers and other equipment when not in use. Taken together, these small items can use as much power as your refrigerator.

Save Water

  • Installing faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads will cut water heating costs by 50% and save up to $300 per year. It will also cut water use by up to 50%. 

Adjust Your Thermostat

  • Setting your air conditioner 5° higher will save up to 20% on cooling costs.

Buy Energy Efficient Appliances

Adjust Your Water Heater

  • Turn your water heater down to 120° or the "Normal" setting when home, and to the lowest setting when away. Water heating accounts for about 13% of home energy costs.

Keep Cool with Ceiling Fans

  • Reduce air conditioning costs by using fans, keeping windows and doors shut and closing shades during the day. Most ceiling fans use less energy than a light bulb.

Be Smart About Lighting

  • Turn off unnecessary lighting and use task or desktop lamps with CFLs instead of overhead lights.

Power down Your Computer

  • Enable "power management" on all computers and make sure to turn them off at night. A laptop computer uses up to 90% less energy than bigger desktop models.

Wash Clothes in Cold Water

  • When possible, wash clothes in cold water. About 90% of the energy used in a clothes washer goes to water heating.

Load Up Your Dishwasher

  • Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when fully loaded. Fewer loads reduce energy and water use.

Maintain Your Clothes Dryer

  • Make sure your dryer's outside vent is clear and clean the lint filter after every load. When shopping for a new dryer look for one with a moisture sensor that automatically shuts off when clothes are dry.

Energy STARFind and Seal Leaks

  • Sealing cracks, gaps, leaks and adding insulation can save up to 20% on home heating and cooling costs.
  • Test for air leaks by holding a lit incense stick next to windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing or weather stripping.
  • Take a room-by-room tour of ENERGY STAR  and learn what you can do for a more comfortable home that saves energy, money and our environment. Launch the room-by-room tour in a popup window.

Good Investment Recommendations
Programmable Thermostat

  • Install an ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat – It can save  over $150 and pays for itself in less than 12 months. Make sure to install it away from natural cool and hot spots.

Seal Your Ducts

  • Have your heating and cooling ducts professionally sealed to save up to $190 per year.

Seal Your Home

  • Seal your home's envelope – walls, floor, ceiling and roof – to save up to 10% on your annual energy bill.
    • Add weather stripping around windows and doors to reduce drafts.
    • Use caulking to seal around ducts, plumbing and any other openings in walls, floors and ceilings to reduce air leakage. Begin in the attic, a common place for warm air to escape.
    • Seal larger gaps that cannot be covered with caulk or with expanding foam.

Insulate, Insulate, Insulate

  • After air sealing, determine the current level of insulation. In the attic, measure the depth of existing insulation using a ruler. If there is less than R-22 (7 inches of fiber glass or rock wool or 6 inches of cellulose) you could probably benefit by adding more. Most U.S. homes should have between R-22 and R-49 insulation in the attic. Insulating ceilings, walls, attics, floors, crawl spaces and basements to recommended standards can reduce heating and cooling costs by 5% to 25%.

Upgrade Your Heating System

  • Replace heating equipment more than 15 years old with new ENERGY STAR qualified models. Equipment must be sized and installed properly.
    • Old furnaces cost more to operate per year than new, ENERGY STAR qualified models that are 15% more efficient than standard models.
    • An ENERGY STAR qualified electric heat pump is 20% more efficient and can save you about $130 annually.
    • An ENERGY STAR qualified boiler uses features like electric ignition and new combustion technologies that extract more heat from the same amount of fuel, to be 10% more efficient than a new, standard model.

Maintain Your Cooling System

  • Have your air conditioning unit serviced to cut 15% of cooling costs.

Windows

  • Install high efficiency windows, which are 40% more efficient than standard windows. Consider replacing single-pane windows with double-pane windows that are gas-filled.  High performance glass (e.g., low emissivity or "low-e" glass) also conserve energy. ENERGY STAR qualified windows may help reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 15%. The windows must be sized and installed properly.

Note: Some measures may not be relevant depending on the age of your home and appliances and past improvements made to your home.