Saving energy at home is easy. Below is a list of time-tested tips that will help reduce your home energy consumption:
Run your dishwasher with a full load only: Make the most efficient use of your dishwasher’s energy and consumption and run the dishwasher only when you have enough dirty dishes accumulated for a full load. Running your dishwasher with a full load only can prevent 100 pounds of carbon pollution and save $40 on energy bills annually. Using the air-dry option, if available, helps too. You can also save energy by scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before loading the dishwasher. Most dishwashers today can thoroughly clean dishes that have had food scraped, rather than rinsed, off — the wash cycle and detergent take care of the rest.
Wash your clothes in cold water: Washing your clothes in cold water is an easy way to save energy and prevent carbon pollution. Hot water heating accounts for about 90 percent of the energy your machine uses to wash clothes — only 10 percent goes to electricity used by the washer motor. Switching to cold water can save the average household as much as $40 annually.
Plug electronics into a power strip: Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often use a small amount of electricity. U.S. households spend approximately $100 per year to power devices while they are in a low power mode — roughly 8 percent of household electricity costs. Nationwide, it is estimated that standby power accounts for more than $11 billion in annual U.S. energy costs! Using a power strip for your computer and all peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption and cutting carbon pollution.
Recycle Used electronics: Electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics, and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Donating or recycling used electronics conserves our natural resources, prevents air and water pollution, and reduces carbon pollution associated with manufacturing. Manufacturers and retailers offer several options to donate or recycle electronics. You can search below to find programs developed by Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge participants.
Use your phone less: Plug in your cell phone or smart device only until it’s charged and use it less often to save energy. When it comes to saving energy the less you use your phone the better.
Reduce Oven Time: Use a microwave instead of an oven to cook, when you can. Ovens take longer to cook food and can make your house warmer, requiring your AC system to turn on to keep the house at a comfortable temperature.
Change Five Lights: Replace your five most frequently used light fixtures or light bulbs with Energy Star qualified products, and you will prevent carbon pollution while saving $75 a year on energy bills.
Change Your Bulbs: Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs which are more fuel efficient and produce less heat, thus allowing your home to stay cooler in the summer.
Install a programmable thermostat: This is ideal for families who may be away for the home during set periods of the day or throughout the week. If you use the pre-programmable settings regularly, a programmable thermostat could help you save up to $180 yearly in energy costs.
Caulk and weather-strip around windows and doors in your home: Sealing air leaks around your home and adding insulation can make your home more comfortable and energy efficient while preventing carbon pollution. These simple fixes can provide up to a 10% savings on your annual energy bills. Simple jobs include installing weather stripping on doors and caulking around windows, while bigger jobs might include sealing leaks and adding insulation in your attic.
Maximize Shade: Pull the curtains and shades closed before you leave your home to keep the sun’s rays from overheating the interior of your home. If you can, move container trees and plants in front of sun-exposed windows to serve as shade.
Install a ceiling fan and use it year round: By adjusting the ceiling fan according to the season (summer-counterclockwise and winter-clockwise) you can freshen the air and use the energy more efficiently. In the summer time you’ll feel actually cooler and in the winter you can feel warmer by reversing the direction of the blades. This allows you to save energy and money at the same time.
Add insulation to your hot-water heater: The standard hot water heater is on all the time. Adding extra insulation to your water heater and any exposed pipes can knock up to 15 percent off the costs of heating water. Most hardware stores sell pre-made insulator “jackets” that can be easily wrapped around one’s water heater.