Save up to 10 percent a year with a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature by 10 to 15 percent for the hours that the house is unoccupied.
Stop Air Leaks
Don’t let the air that you’ve paid to heat or cool your house escape. Block leaks around windows, doors, and wiring/plumbing perforations. Don’t forget to insulate your attic, exterior walls, basement, and crawl spaces.
Nature’s Climate Control
Open curtains and blinds on south-facing windows to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home on cool days, and leave them closed on summer days to reduce heat.
Switch to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which use 1/4 the energy of a traditional light bulb. If every American home replaced just one 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 23-watt ENERGY STAR CFL, in one year it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes!
To cut your utility bills by 30 percent, look for the ENERGY STAR label, the symbol for energy efficiency, when shopping for major appliances, lighting, windows, and home electronics.
Unplug any battery chargers, such as a cell phone charger, from the wall when not in use. Keep electronics plugged into power strips and surge protectors that can be turned off when not in use, especially overnight.
Because 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating water, try washing clothes using the cold or warm settings instead. Make sure the washing machine/dishwasher is full when running and let the clothes/dishes air dry. Lowering the thermostat on your home’s water heater to a setting of 120°F can also help cut costs and save energy.
Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units (but don’t block the airflow). A well-placed tree near the house can deliver effective shade, act as a windbreak, and reduce your energy bills up to 25 percent. Just make sure to keep those trees away from nearby power lines!