114 Ways to Save Energy & Money In Your Home!

  1. Install an electric heat pump.
  2. If you have an electric heat pump, set it and forget it. Once you’ve set your thermostat for the season, leave it alone and don’t readjust.
  3. Set the thermostat between 76-80 degrees in summer and 68-72 degrees in winter.
  4. In winter, consider using an extra blanket at night and wear extra clothes so you can set the thermostat at a slightly lower temperature.
  5. In summer, consider wearing light, loose layers so you can set the thermostat at a slightly higher temperature than normal.
  6. When the fireplace is not in use, keep the damper closed.
  7. During winter, open the draperies on the sunny side of the house during the day and close them at night.
  8. Keep all heating and cooling vents free from obstruction.
  9. If you do not heat and cool with an electric heat pump, close vents and doors to unused rooms.
  10. DO NOT close vents and doors to unused rooms if you heat and cool with an electric heat pump; doing so could damage the heat pump compressor.
  11. Turn air-conditioning units (i.e. window units) off if you’re going to be gone for an extended time.
  12. Plant shade trees on the west and south sides of your home.
  13. Shade may reduce cooling costs 20 to 40 percent; however, before planting consider the effects highly shaded areas may have on your energy bills during the heating season.
  14. During summer months, close draperies on the sunny side of the house during daytime.
  15. On mild Spring and Fall days, open windows for natural ventilation and turn heating and cooling systems off.
  16. When it’s hot outside, do heat and moisture producing jobs (i.e. cooking, mopping, laundry, etc.) during the cooler hours of the day.
  17. If you cool with window units, consider placing them on the north side of the house.
  18. Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilation fans only when necessary and turn them off as soon as they’ve done the job.
  19. Service your heating and cooling unit annually.
  20. Consider planting evergreen trees on the north side of your house in order to provide a wind block.
  21. Install central heating and cooling ductwork in crawl spaces rather than in the attic when possible.
  22. If you have an electric heat pump, set the thermostat on automatic. When operating properly, the system will bring on auxiliary heat when needed.
  23. Generally, the only time the emergency heat switch should be on is if the compressor is not operating properly.
  24. Make sure your heating and cooling thermostat is not next to a heat-producing appliance (i.e. do not install or place a high wattage light next to the thermostat).
  25. Set the thermostat back to approximately 55 degrees when you will be gone for an extended period of time. Don’t set it back too low to avoid freezing pipes.
  26. Clean or replace central heating and cooling filters every month.
  27. Use your monthly energy bill as a reminder to clean or replace your filters.
  28. Fix leaky faucets, toilets, pipes, and water heaters.
  29. Turn the water heater off at the breaker if you’re going to be gone for a couple days or longer.
  30. Set water heater thermostat(s) at 140 degrees if you have an electric dishwasher. If you do not have a dishwasher, consider setting the thermostat between 100 and 120 degrees.
  31. Wash clothes in cool or cold water providing garment instructions permit.
  32. Insulate your water heater with insulated “blankets,” which are available at local hardware or department stores.
  33. Wrap pipes going out of the tank with insulated coverings recommended by local hardware or department stores.
  34. Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes.
  35. Don’t let the hot water run while shaving.
  36. Take quick, tepid showers rather than baths.
  37. Install water restrictors on faucets and showers.
  38. When you bathe or shower, turn the bathroom exhaust fan on to prevent a buildup of moisture in your home. Immediately turn the fan off once the moisture has been removed.
  39. Install new energy-efficient water heaters. Energy-efficient water heaters cost more initially than standard water heaters; however, the energy savings will compensate throughout the life of the appliance.
  40. Drain a gallon of water once a year through the faucet at the bottom of the water heater. This assists in maintaining energy efficiency.
  41. Rinse clothes in cold water.
  42. Use only cold water in your garbage disposal.
  43. Caulk or weather-strip anywhere there are air leaks in your home! Be sure to check the following spots for air leaks:
    • central heating and cooling ductwork and registers
    • doors
    • windows
    • lighting fixtures
    • sill plates
    • baseboards and interior trim
    • plumbing penetrations (i.e. where pipes enter the house)
    • electric outlets, switches, and panels
    • attic entrance doors
    • chimneys
  44. Make sure insulation R-values are energy right®. Recommended R-values are as follows: attic: R-38, walls: R-13, floors: R-19.
  45. If building a new home, install no more than 8-10% glass area.
  46. Install insulated doors.
  47. Install double-pane windows.
  48. Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which sometimes indicate holes where air leaks out. Seal the holes by stapling plastic over the hole and then sealing the plastic edges with caulking.
  49. Make sure fireplace dampers are closed when the fireplace is not in use.
  50. For new construction, reduce exterior wall leaks by installing house wrap, taping exterior sheathing, and caulking and sealing exterior walls, windows, and doors.
  51. Install rubber gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on exterior walls.
  52. Make sure attic access doors are insulated.
  53. Cover window air-conditioning units during winter months and seal cracks with duct tape to prevent air leaks.
  54. Vent range hoods or down draft stoves properly to the outside with closing dampers.
  55. Install insulated garage doors.
  56. When the heating and cooling system is on, keep all external doors and windows tightly closed.
  57. Don’t leave the garage door open unnecessarily.
  58. Turn appliances (i.e. TV, radio, lights, etc.) off when not in use.
  59. If you have a wood or coal burning fireplace, use it sparingly. A wood or coal burning fireplace may pull as much as 25% of your heat out the chimney.
  60. Use smaller appliances in place of larger ones. For example, use a toaster oven for toasting, heating, and cooking small amounts of food.
  61. Purchase energy efficient appliances. Always check energy guide labels and compare initial purchase prices against energy payback.
  62. Open external doors as seldom as possible and then close them quickly.
  63. Use the dishwasher instead of hand-washing dishes. Properly loaded dishwashers use less water than washing by hand.
  64. In the summer, run the dishwasher and other large, heat producing appliances in the coolest part of the day.
  65. Use short or energy saving cycles when possible.
  66. Keep filters and drains clean.
  67. Skip the drying cycle and let dishes air dry.
  68. Dry similar weight items together.
  69. On warm, sunny days, hang clothes outside to dry.
  70. Dry full loads, but be careful not to overload.
  71. Make sure outside dryer vents are clean and clear of obstruction.
  72. Stop the dryer as soon as clothes are dry. Over drying sets wrinkles and uses extra energy. Use the moisture sensor control feature.
  73. Clean lint filters after each load.
  74. Dry one load right after another.
  75. Use low watt bulbs where lighting is not critical.
  76. Install dimmer switches.
  77. Replace incandescent lighting with fluorescent or comparable.
  78. Place floor lamps and hanging lamps in corners. The reflection off the walls will provide more light.
  79. Open curtains and blinds to take advantage of the daylight.
  80. Install control timers on internal and external lighting.
  81. Make sure outdoor lighting is turned off during the day.
  82. Keep all lamps and fixtures clean in order to increase lighting efficiency.
  83. Use task lighting for specific tasks rather than lighting the entire room.
  84. Light colored walls reflect light better; thus, reducing the need for artificial lighting.
  85. Consider using 130 volt lamps rather 120 volt lamps for longer lamp life.
  86. Cool foods to room temperature before placing them in the refrigerator unless the recipe specifies otherwise.
  87. Do not install refrigerators and freezers close to the stove, dishwasher, heat vents, and direct sunlight.
  88. Follow manufacturer’s instructions concerning the amount of air space needed around the refrigerator.
  89. A full freezer and refrigerator is more energy efficient than half empty freezers and refrigerators.
  90. Decide what you want before opening refrigerator doors and freezers, and shut the doors immediately after you’ve gotten the items you wanted.
  91. Keep refrigerator coils clean.
  92. Defrost manual refrigerators when frost is 1/4 inch thick.
  93. Remove the contents and unplug your second refrigerator unless you really need it. Please note that in most cases, state law requires that all unused refrigerators have the door removed or locked so children cannot open them.
  94. Adjust the feet at the front to make sure refrigerator and freezer doors close on its own.
  95. Make sure all liquids are covered before placing them in the refrigerator.
  96. Wipe all moisture from containers and refrigerator/freezer shelves. This keeps the compressor from working harder to remove extra moisture.
  97. Make sure door gaskets are properly sealed. Tip: If a dollar bill easily slips through a closed door, the appliance isn’t sealed properly.
  98. Plan meals so several foods can cook simultaneously in the oven.
  99. Use flat bottomed pots and pans with tight-fitting lids.
  100. Don’t preheat the oven unless the recipe instructs you to do so.
  101. Avoid opening the oven door until food is cooked. Use a timer.
  102. Thaw frozen foods (except vegetables) before cooking unless otherwise specified in the recipe.
  103. Cook foods in the smallest amount of water possible.
  104. After items have cooked, turn the oven off and use it to keep rolls warm until serving time.
  105. Use the microwave when reheating food items or for food preparation (i.e. melting butter).
  106. Defrost food in the refrigerator before cooking. This will help cool the refrigerator and less energy will be required to cook food.
  107. Consider using glass, ceramic, or stainless steel pans or dishes for baking. These types of pans or dishes may reduce cooking temperatures by 25 degrees.
  108. Turn off electric burners a few minutes before food has finished cooking; however, do not turn the burners off if you cook with an induction unit.
  109. Substitute the microwave for the oven whenever possible in summertime.
  110. Cook as much of your meal as possible in the oven. It’s more efficient than surface unit cooking.
  111. Begin cooking on high, then reduce to a lower temperature. Be careful not to overcook.
  112. Cook with lids. This avoids heat loss and food cooks faster at a lower temperature.
  113. If you’re just boiling water, use a kettle.
  114. Use pots with nonstick surfaces to fry at slightly lower temperatures.