12 simple ways to save energy in your home


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While the amount of energy we individually consume has dropped slightly in recent years, thanks in part to improved technology and better habits, many of us are still feeling the pinch of high energy prices.

While we can’t do much about the cost of energy, there are still a lot of ways to stop wasting it. Here are 12 energy-smart suggestions as we head into warmer weather:

  1. Keep your house cooler by closing doors, windows and drapes on warm or hot days it can avoid the need to blast the air conditioning.
  2. Using a ceiling fan is another way to cool rooms and keep your AC on standby.
  3. Programmable thermostats like NEST and others automatically adjust to your family’s schedule so you don’t waste energy while you’re asleep or out of the house you can save 2% on your utility bill for about every 2 degrees you turn it down.
  4. Replace your air conditioner filter regularly ideally, once a month a dirty filter reduces airflow and makes your machine less efficient.
  5. Whether they’re light or dark, wash your clothes in cold water most of the energy older washing machines use is to heat the water (modern machines balance the hot and cold water flowing in) and only wash full loads.
  6. Replace your traditional incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs) the newer bulbs use up to 80% less energy and can last up to 25 times longer.
  7. Turn off your oven about 10 minutes before your meal is cooked the heat still inside the oven will continue to cook your meal.
  8. Only wash full loads in your dishwasher and choose the air-dry setting (if available).
  9. If you’re not using your computer, monitor, printer, TV, or lights, turn them off just turning off your lights can save 10-15% on your monthly utility bill.
  10. Your smartphone only needs an hour or two to recharge don’t leave it plugged in all night.
  11. Do a careful check on the inside and outside of your windows and doors and seal any cracks or leaks.
  12. If you haven’t already, install low-flow showerheads and faucets throughout your home.

What are your favorite and most effective ways to save energy throughout your home? Share your ideas with the Shop Talk Blog community forum!

 

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Did you know: Front beats top

Use a top-loading washing machine? Consider buying a front loading one it uses about 40% less water and 50% less energy. (Source)

 

52 thoughts on “12 simple ways to save energy in your home

  1. My hone had to be taken down to the concrete walls, due to inury and illness. I am disabled Law Enfocement officer and because I was forced to retire before age 65 due to back surgeries and misc. injuries. I only collect a small portion of my State Retirement and SSDI. I hired a handyname to help put the house back together who was recommended by my niece. He stole all the supplies I was able to purchase thru a defered comp plan all the 2×4, insulation, electrical, pvc, stripped the house of all copper pipes, wiring,etc. Needless to say the some is unihabitable. They stole all my personal herlooms, jewelry, even my great Grandfathers Marine Collar Brass, ribbons, metals and dog tags. Some I have found, but had to buy backfrom the pawn shop. But to cut to the chase can you recomment anyone in my area 32404 who does framing, plumbing, electrical and sheetrock work. Need help as I am medically retired and cannot do the work myself.

      1. Really, there will not be many comments made if that were a
        rule that everyone must follow. They can barely speak English. I think we are expecting too much on the spelling and grammar. 😖

  2. Number one way to save energy: Don’t use it! Don’t feel you have to own every electronic bell and whistle there is. Buy only what you really, truly NEED,

    Number two: Don’t use AC at all. Get an apartment or house with cross-ventilation–and an attic with windows. Open the windows on opposite sides of the house to get airflow, and open the attic windows from the top to exhaust hot air. If you need cooling, use fans. They’re cheaper, quieter, and can be moved about.

  3. I bought a new dryer because it was taking so long to dry. My new dryer takes as long or longer 3 cycles of 40 minutes to dry towels. Yes I change the lint catcher. They told me at the store that it does take longer with new efficient appliances, they added don’t get a new refrigerator!

  4. To save energy turn the thermostat up in the summer time not down (as in your statement ) and lower in the winter. But try to stay within your comfort zone. Good
    settings 79 summer 69 winter.

  5. I am still using the 1965 Top-loading automatic clotheswasher in my home.
    Since it was GIVEN to me when I moved into my house (1990) how urgent should I be to replace it – while it still works?

  6. I have cut everywhere i can, but I do not own my own home and I live in an apt. I have no control over the laundry facilities, if I did I would have a front loader, but they put what they want in and the machine is old.

  7. It’s pretty shocking to see all the run-on sentences in this presentation. One tends to denigrate the value of the information when it’s presented with so many errors.

    1. Mr. Belan, Thank you for the info you supplied about cutting back and limiting power consumption. I put a very random “Distress” email, with what i assume was to much personal info (i was in panic mode),but then your comment jumped out at me. Since I’m having to start from ground zero, i started a list of suggestions you recommended. I carry it with me check the inserts, sales and the email for sales or comparisons. I buy or compare something you suggested every time I have funds to purchase on my list, lol. Again thanks for your simple non critical comment that got me to think and a place to start. Renee Corley

    2. I ALSO NOTICE THAT MOST COMMENTORS DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPELL OR USE THE WRONG SPELLING OF WORDS LIKE THEIR AND THERE. I AM NOT YELLING, BY THE WAY. I POST IN CAPS BECAUSE I AM BLIND IN MY LEFT EYE AND CAN’T SEE WELL OUT OF MY RIGHT.

    3. AMEN TO THAT, Betty!!!!
      Makes one wonder if the commentary is written by someone who truly hss a grasp on the subjects!

  8. I have done everything on this list and them some more. I also use heavier curtains in the fall/winter months to heat cold out and thinner ones in spring/summer. We have automatic shut offs on lights and electronics , if no movement in a room the lights will shut off. The computers and televisions are on sleep modes , not being used they will shut down. Usually after an hour on the computers , 3 hours on the televisions. I will try anything I can to lower my bills and saving energy consumption is a plus.

  9. Front load washers, are not great, they mildew often, I would leave my door open after all washing was done for the day, the grey belt had to be replaced many times, and washing took longer, I just purchased a top washer, and it’s great, I would not recommend purchasing or using a front load washer

  10. i have ceiling fan but not sure which direction to use in summer or winter? what should heating & air be set on?

  11. If you must use electricity to heat water, buy a hybrid electric water heater. Hybrids primarily use a heat pump to heat with an auxiliary radiant heater to supliment the heat pump when hot water is being used at a higher rate, especially when taking baths, showers and washing clothes in hot water.

    A 50 gallon hybrid water heater costs about $1,000 and another $1,000 for installation. A regular electric water heater costs about $600 and is less expensive to install. However, a hybrid electric will save $400 – $500 more in electric costs annually. It pays for itself in 2 years. If your old water heater must be replaced imeadiately, using a hybrid electric heater will pay for itself even sooner.

    Use a smart power strip or timers for TV, cable boxes, computers, and other electric devices. Smart power strips cost $25 – $50. Smart Strips sense when no one is in the room. Then is it turns the electric devices off.

    When a cable box is left on it uses more electricity than a refrigerator (which uses the fourth most electricity in your home. Only HVAC, hot water and each cable box uses more electricity than a refrigerator. You may need to leave only the master cable box on if rec ordings are scheduled.

  12. Read the first paragraph again, carefully. We’ve done most of these (don’t own a smart phone and our programmable thermostat sometimes goes rogue) but perhaps because so many others have also taken measures to save energy, our electric supplier got a 4% rate increase in 2016 and is asking for another 6.3% because of, drumroll here, decreased usage. (Yet they also have an energy use surcharge in summer because of the increased demand. So they CAN have it both ways; we can’t.) So much for any implication that we can reduce the pinch of high energy prices. There’s no way conscientious users can offset such price increases. Time to start generating your own electricity and ignore these counterproductive measures.

  13. Item 6. The new bulbs are over priced. It is not a simple change because of color and amounts of light. Very expensive to have three level lights
    There is no clear information on the light produced. They may reduce energy use but they cost me more. Where is the balance?

  14. We never turn on the air or heat until we absolutely need it. If we are going for a few days we turn it off unless it is below freezing. We use the ceiling fans and open windows for as long as we can which is pretty good here in ARkansas. We have so many trees that it keeps it cool in the house.

    If we need it we use it.

  15. To delay turning on air conditioning: when it is cool in the morning turn on attic fans; ceiling fans and put box fans in windows to cool the house. Then before it gets warm in the morning, CLOSE ALL windows and curtains to prevent heat coming in. When necessary later in the day IF YOU MUST-turn on the air-now you’ve delayed it. (also do all baking early morning for the day when it’s cool and when the fans are going.)

  16. Area heating and (especially) cooling if you aren’t using the rest of it. A tenth of the space will take not much more than a tenth of the energy. This works best at the margin as large differences can lead to condensation.

  17. We have been doing these things since 2005. Why was this just printed today.
    Our electric company is Unisource in Kingman Az. They spend money every month with different advertising, but never give full information. Besides that they have increased the service charges, and the billing amounts for electric usage. They are rich enough stop the stupid advertising and reduce the billing amounts.

  18. Close shower curtains/doors when not in use . Cabinets and Closets, too, to save heating or cooling uninhabited spaces.

  19. I have been saving money on electricity by using LED rope lights in the living room. The light isn’t as bright as a CFL & helps my family transition to bedtime easier. In the winter I use Christmas LED lights for light in the living room. They are festive, colorful and save money.

  20. For about 5 yrs I started using the temperature control on my windows units. I thought I noticed a difference in my bills, I pulled old bills n compared to the new bills, my ex-roommate told me that turning the air on n off when u cool down did not affect the bill as much as leaving it run all day n night, just control the temperature. I am 44 n raised 3 daughter’s, she is 25 n never had her own place. But a couple other people told me she was right. Idk

  21. I like what this article recommends about doing small but significant upgrades such as changing to a more efficient light bulb or only washing full loads. I want to do some upgrades to my home to make sure we save some energy. Upgrading the lights and even the appliances could be a good way of doing so given my homes age and it’s inherent inefficiency.

  22. I never thought to use led rope lights in the living room. That is a very good tip. I’m going to do this. The light in my living room is a bright one.

  23. Use a timer to water your lawn, etc., I will save a lots if water when you often forget that the water is on.

  24. I agree on some comments about front load washers. I have always had a top loader. The front load type costs a lot more then top loaders, so it would take a while
    to realize any savings.

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