Have you ever wondered, “How can I reduce my electric bill?” or “How can I save more energy?” You’re not alone!
Whether you’re interested in going green to reduce your carbon footprint or gain green in your wallet, it makes sense to save energy.
Adopting these tips will save you money and help the environment.
- Turn lights off when not in use.
- Install motion sensor or timer activated yard lights.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs.
Heating and Cooling
- Turn the thermostat down during winter and up during summer.
- Open curtains or shades on the south and west sides of your house on sunny days during cold weather.
- Close curtains or shades on the sunny sides of the house during the day in hot weather.
- Close curtains or shades at night during the winter.
- Run paddle fans clockwise on low during the winter to circulate air, and counterclockwise during the summer (when in the room) to feel cooler.
- Check ductwork on the HVAC system for leaks. Patch ducts with metallic tape or duct mastic.
- Change your air filter every one to three months.
- Make sure the fireplace damper is closed when not in use.
- Install solar blocking film on windows.
- Apply weatherstripping around doors and windows.
- Install foam gaskets on plugs and switches on exterior walls.
- Insulate fold-down attic stairs.
- Caulk exterior cracks and gaps around your house.
- Add insulation to the attic.
- Plant deciduous trees on the house’s south and west sides.
- Turn off the TV and computers when not in use.
- Set energy-saving options on computers so they’re in sleep or hibernate mode when not in use.
- Unplug chargers for cell phones and tools when not needed.
Washing and Drying Clothes
- Regularly clean the clothes dryer’s lint filter and vent pipe.
- Don’t overload the dryer.
- Dry clothes on a clothesline rather than in the dryer.
- Wash clothes in cold water.
- Run only full loads of clothes in the washer.
- Turn the water heater down to 120° Fahrenheit.
- Insulate your hot-water pipes.
- Drain your water heater once each year.
- Use a microwave rather than an oven for cooking.
- Use a slow cooker instead of an oven and burners for dinner.
- Run only full loads in the dishwasher.
- Don’t pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
- Turn off the dishwasher drying cycle; open the door and air-dry instead.
- Clean coils on your refrigerator.
- Take showers rather than baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerators.
- Repair running toilets, dripping faucets and leaking pipes.
- Replace old toilets with water-efficient, dual-flush models.
Lawn and Garden
- Install motion detectors on your outside lights to reduce their use.
- Water your lawn and plants sparingly, if at all.
- Collect rainwater from gutters in rain barrels for watering plants.
- Set your lawnmower blade higher and cut grass less often.
Thank you so much for the information about closing heating/cooling vents. Since this house tends to h/c unevenly on one side, I really have tried that.
The draining of the Water Heater is not wise as the build up that you are cleaning out will clog the rubber seat and it will leak.
connect microwave to a surge protector with a switch, and turn it off when not in use. Who needs another blinking clock in their kitchen? Same goes with TV, DVR and other electronics. Also put your lamps on a timer, so you are sure they are off during daylight hours. And check with your energy company for the “peak” hours and do your laundry during “off peak” hours. Look around, your house is full of places you can save money.
I never knew you were supposed to drain the water heater every year. What does that accomplish? thanks for the tips.
Draining a hot water heater annually removes any sediment that has settled to the bottom of the tank. Accumulated sediment in the tank can make a water heater more inefficient by reducing the space the usable hot water occupies. Watch our video to find out how to drain a water heater at https://todayshomeowner.com/video/how-to-drain-a-water-heater/
Watched your show this morning (9/26/16) and where do you get those gasket inserts for your outlets? Husband tried to find them but we need a correct name and location to purchase them.
Hi, Barbara, those are called Socket Sealers from Duck Brand.
I own a second-floor condo that was built in 1986 and is subject to blistery cold Colorado winters. The walls appear to have very little if no insulation and the wall behind my bed in my main bedroom gets extremely cold to the touch in the winter and I can feel cold air entering through the wall sockets even after installing foam gasket inserts. I recently had new windows installed throughout in an effort to help with the energy bill, and now I’m looking for a solution to insulate that wall in my bedroom. I’ve looked into having insulation blown into the wall, but that is a very expensive process and requires patching holes left behind in the wall, yet one more expense. Can you recommend an affordable solution?
Great question! We haven’t covered that topic on todayshomeowner.com, but we will be in touch to discuss it on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.
We’ll contact you soon to set up the call.