Save energy, save money — it’s a win-win. There are so many ways you can do this in your own home, from installing motion sensors, insulating your pipes, and even just closing your curtains. For those aiming to cut costs and reduce their environmental impact, these practical tips not only lower your utility bills but also contribute to a greener world.

    Discover these 43 efficient strategies, ideal for both your wallet and the planet.

    Lighting Efficiency

    Amending lighting is one of the easiest ways to save energy. Here’s what you should do: 

    • 1. Turn lights off when not in use.
    • 2. Install motion sensors or timer-activated yard lights.
    • 3. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. In fact, replacing just five lights in your home with LEDs can save around $75 per year. Opt for smart LED bulbs that allow you to control brightness and schedule on and off times from your phone. 

    Heating and Cooling Efficiency

    Heating and cooling up your home uses a lot of electricity and may be costly. Here are some simple ways to save on air conditioning and heat while helping the environment at the same time.

    • 4. Turn the thermostat down during winter and up during summer. Adjusting your thermostat just two degrees up in summer or down in winter can reduce heating and cooling costs in your home by up to 10%. I’ve found that programmable thermostats make it easy to set different temperatures for when you’re home versus away. You can adjust a programmable thermostat from an app while away from home.
    • 5. Open curtains or shades on the south and west sides of your house on sunny days during cold weather.
    • 6. Close curtains or shades on the sunny sides of the house during the day in hot weather.
    • 7. Close curtains or shades at night during the winter.
    • 8. Run paddle fans clockwise on low during the winter to circulate air and counterclockwise during the summer to feel cooler.
    • 9. Check ductwork on the HVAC system for leaks. Patch ducts with metallic tape or duct mastic.
    • 10. Change your air filter every one to three months.
    • 11. Make sure the fireplace damper is closed when not in use.
    • 12. Install solar-blocking film on windows.
    • 13. Apply weatherstripping around doors and windows.
    • 14. Install foam gaskets on plugs and switches on exterior walls.
    • 15. Insulate fold-down attic stairs.
    • 16. Add insulation to your basement.
    • 17. Caulk exterior cracks and gaps around your house.
    • 18. Add insulation to the attic
    • 19. Plant deciduous trees on the house’s south and west sides.

    Electronics Efficiency

    From TVs to laptops to phone chargers, the average home now contains more electronic devices than ever before. All these convenient gadgets can contribute significantly to your energy bills.

    • 20. Turn off the TV and computers when not in use.
    • 21. Set energy-saving options on computers so they’re in sleep or hibernate mode when not in use. Enable power-saving settings on computers and TVs so they enter low power mode after a period of inactivity.
    • 22. Unplug chargers for cell phones and tools when not needed. Unplugging your devices when not in use completely eliminates the power draw. Use smart power strips to cut power to devices automatically. 

    Washing and Drying Clothes Efficiency

    Between hot water and high heat drying, clothes washing accounts for a significant share of home energy costs. A few adjustments to your laundry routine can help save energy and money.

    • 23. Regularly clean the clothes dryer’s lint filter and vent pipe.
    • 24. Don’t overload the dryer.
    • 25. Dry clothes on a clothesline rather than in the dryer. Letting clothes air dry saves the electricity otherwise used during machine drying. 
    • 26. Wash clothes in cold water. Washing your clothes in cold water saves energy used to heat the water.
    • 27. Run only full loads of clothes in the washer.

    Hot Water Efficiency

    Heating water accounts for 12% of the average home’s energy use, according to the Department of Energy. You can take a few simple steps to cut your hot water energy costs.

    • 28. Turn the water heater down to 120° Fahrenheit. Turning down the temperature saves energy while still providing comfortably hot water.
    • 29. Insulate your hot water pipes. Wrapping hot water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation reduces heat loss and lowers energy costs. 
    • 30. Drain your water heater once each year. Draining the sediment from your water heater annually helps it run more efficiently. 

    Kitchen Efficiency

    Your stove, oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher are kitchen workhorses that also consume a lot of electricity. Use these tips to make your kitchen more energy-efficient.

    • 31. Use a microwave rather than an oven for cooking.
    • 32. Use a slow cooker instead of an oven. Microwaves, slow cookers, and dishwashers are more energy efficient than ovens for cooking meals. 
    • 33. Run only full loads in the dishwasher.
    • 34. Don’t pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
    • 35. Turn off the dishwasher drying cycle — open the door and air-dry instead.
    • 36. Clean the coils on your refrigerator. Do this every six months to allow proper airflow and prevent overworking the compressor.
    • 37. Look for the ENERGY STAR logo when purchasing new appliances. 

    Bathroom Efficiency

    Thanks to the hot water use that happens in bathrooms, these rooms offer big opportunities for energy savings.

    • 38. Take showers rather than baths.
    • 39. Install low-flow showerheads and aerators. Low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators reduce water usage while maintaining good water pressure. 
    • 40. Repair running toilets, dripping faucets, and leaking pipes. Replacing pre-1994 toilets with WaterSense models can save nearly 13,000 gallons per year.

    Lawn and Garden Efficiency

    Your outdoor lighting, watering, and mowing all require electricity or fuel, which can strain your monthly budget. Minimize the energy your landscape uses with these tips. 

    • 41. Install motion detectors on your outside lights. This prevents lights from staying on when not in use.
    • 42. Water your lawn and plants sparingly.
    • 43. Collect rainwater from gutters in rain barrels for watering plants. This reduces outdoor water needs.
    • 44. Set your lawnmower blade higher and cut grass less often. Let your lawn grow taller to conserve fuel.

    So, Is Saving Energy in Your Home Worth It?

    Taking steps to increase your home’s energy efficiency pays off in lower utility bills and reduced environmental impact. While some upgrades require an up-front investment, many come at little to no cost yet still generate significant long-term savings. 

    Beyond the financial benefits, you can feel good knowing your energy conservation efforts help preserve natural resources and curb carbon emissions. Overall, improving energy efficiency delivers clear advantages both for your wallet and the planet.

    FAQs About Saving Energy at Home

    How much can I save by making my home more energy efficient?

    Savings vary based on factors like your climate, utility rates, and existing home efficiency. A typical household can reduce energy bills through upgrades like sealing air leaks, adding insulation, switching to LED lighting, and using ENERGY STAR appliances.

    What are the fastest ways to start saving energy at home?

    Simple habit changes like turning off lights, lowering the thermostat, and running full loads of laundry can yield immediate savings. Doing things like unplugging your devices, using power strips, and enabling sleep settings also provides quick reductions in energy use.

    What energy efficiency upgrades offer the best return on investment?

    Insulation, air sealing, Energy Star appliances, LED lighting, and programmable thermostats tend to offer the fastest payback. Upgrades with longer payback periods, like solar panels or new windows, still offer substantial savings over their lifespan.

    How can I tell where my home is losing energy?

    A home energy audit can precisely locate areas of air leakage, insufficient insulation, and other problems through blower door tests, thermal imaging, and other diagnostic tools. You can conduct your own simple inspection for leaks around windows, doors, outlets, and pipes.

    Should I hire a professional for energy efficiency projects?

    Homeowners can make basic improvements like weatherstripping and LED bulbs. For major upgrades like insulation, I recommend hiring a qualified technician to ensure proper installation. An expert can also help you take advantage of energy rebates and incentives.

    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Laurie Engle

    Laurie Engle

    Expert Writer & Reviewer

    Laurie Engle is a freelance writer who provides insights to homeowners on topics such as the home warranty industry, relocation issues, and real estate trends. As a licensed Realtor since 2001 Laurie has acquired extensive expertise in dealing with home warranty companies and navigating the intricacies of the real estate market. In addition to her commitment to helping clients with their home buying and selling needs, she maintains a sharp awareness of market dynamics, including property values, interest rates, and local regulations.

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    photo of Lori Zaino

    Lori Zaino

    Lori Zaino is a freelance writer and editor based in Madrid, Spain. With nearly two decades of editorial experience, she’s written and edited for publications like Forbes, CNN, Insider, NBC, Newsweek, The Points Guy, The Infatuation, and many others. Having just completed her first home renovation, she’s more interested in home improvements than ever, dedicated to bringing you fresh and accurate content to help you update your living spaces.

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