Energy efficiency means you are using less energy to do the same jobs, reducing your home’s energy waste and saving money. To effectively increase your energy efficiency involves more than just using less energy – it requires you becoming aware of how energy is used, where it’s wasted, and how it can be used more effectively and efficiently in everyday life. Here are some top tips to help your home or business save energy and be more efficient.
Saving Energy at Home
- Change your light bulbs to LEDs.
- If possible, wash your clothes in cold water.
- Sealing cracks, gaps, leaks, and adding insulation can save up to 10% on home heating and cooling costs.
- Clean or replace all filters in your home regularly. Dirty filters make your system work harder and run longer than necessary.
- Use your microwave instead of your stove when cooking.
- To ensure your appliances are running efficiently, defrost your refrigerator and freezer before ice buildup becomes 1/4-inch thick.
- During warmer months, close blinds, shades and drapes on the sunny side of your home to help keep your home’s temperature cooler and reduce the work for you AC. Open shades during cooler months to let the sun warm your home.
- Don’t peek in the oven while baking! Every time you peek, the temperature drops 25° F, making your oven use more energy to bring the temperature back up.
- Use natural light when possible.
- Control your fixtures with a photocell or a timer to assure dusk-to-dawn only operation of your outdoor lights.
- Don’t leave your computer on all day long. Only turn on your computer, monitor, printer and fax machine when you need them.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer and as low as possible in the winter. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall heating and cooling bill will be.
- Using your ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
- Refrigerators and freezers actually operate most efficiently when full, so keep your refrigerator and freezer as full as possible. Be careful about overfilling them as this will reduce airflow and cause the appliance to work harder.
- Using dishwashers and clothes washers/dryers at night will keep the house cooler, reduce strain on the power grid during the peak usage hours of 4 PM and 6 PM and reduce the chance of an emergency!
- Turn off heated dry on your dishwasher and air dry instead.
- Set your refrigerator temperature to the manufacturer’s recommendation to avoid excessive cooling and wasting energy.
- Don’t leave bathroom or kitchen ventilation fans running longer than necessary. They replace inside air with outside.
- If your home has single-pane windows, consider replacing them with more energy efficient windows, or adding solar shades or tinting film.
- Adjust the thermostat only to the desired temperature. Your home won’t heat or cool faster by cranking it up.
- Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature according to your schedule.
- Turn off the lights when they’re not in use. Lighting accounts for about 12% of a typical residential utility bill.
- Don’t leave your mobile phone plugged in overnight. It only takes a couple of hours to charge.
- Turn off the oven a few minutes before cooking time runs out. Your food will continue to cook without using the extra electricity.
- Avoid placing appliances that give off heat, such as lamps or TVs, near a thermostat.
This article originally appeared on DirectEnergy.com