255 Energy Saving Tips

You have the power to save money on electricity in your own home and we want to help you do that! We have compiled an in-depth list of 255 tips and tricks to help you conserve energy. This list is broken down into 7 categories: Your thermostat, your electricity provider, inside your home, outside your home, water saving tips, electronics and miscellaneous. We hope they help you save money and control your usage!

Your Thermostat

  1. Install a programmable thermostat. It’s surprisingly easy to install one yourself.
  2. Don’t set the thermostat higher than you actually want it.
  3. Don’t let furniture and draperies block the air flow from air registers.
  4. If your home has a boiler system, avoid covering radiators with screens or blocking them with furniture.
  5. When using the fireplace, turn down the furnace to 55 degrees. If you don’t, all the warm air from the furnace will go right up the chimney, wasting energy and money.
  6. Set the fan on your central air conditioner to “on” rather than “auto.” This will circulate air continuously, keeping the temperature more even throughout the house and aiding in dehumidification.
  7. Make sure your window air conditioner is the proper size.
  8. Vacuum registers and vents regularly.
  9. Raise the thermostat to about 78 to 80 degrees whenever you go to bed or leave the house.
  10. If your home can’t accommodate central air conditioning, try a whole-house attic fan.
  11. During the winter, remove window air conditioners and seal the windows with caulk and weatherstripping.
  12. Avoid using space heaters, including electric, kerosene or propane models. Not only are they expensive to operate, they’re also very dangerous.
  13. If you’ll be going on vacation, lower the thermostat to 55 degrees. This will save energy while preventing water pipes from freezing.
  14. When replacing your furnace, make sure you choose the capacity that’s right for your home.
  15. When replacing your central air conditioning, choose the appropriate capacity for your home.
  16. Replace your inefficient furnace with a geothermal heat pump. You can find geothermal heating companies online.
  17. Shop during the off-season. Many heating and cooling manufacturers offer significant rebates during seasonal sales promotions, and dealers may charge less for installation.
  18. Investigate new technology carefully. Some innovations, like convection ovens or argon-filled windows, may save energy and make life more convenient.
  19. You can operate a couple of fans with a fraction of the electricity needed for air conditioning, and their cooling effect may make it possible to cut back on AC use.
  20. Once each month clean or change the filter in your furnace.
  21. You should have your heating system inspected once a year to ensure maximum efficiency.  The cost of inspection will pay for itself.
  22. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you need to invest in one.
  23. If you want to heat your home quickly, don’t set the thermostat higher than your target temperature, it will get warmer at the same rate, regardless of set temperature.
  24. Vacuuming the registers and vents of your duct system will dramatically improve their efficiency.
  25. Prevent obstructions from allowing your heating and cooling vents to work properly.
  26. A reflecting panel behind your radiators can prevent up to 25% of heat loss into the wall.
  27. During the winter, close curtains and blinds at night to prevent heat loss; keep them open during the day to absorb energy from the sun.
  28. Keep your feet warm with area rugs on hardwood and tile floors.
  29. When you’re on vacation set your thermostat to 55 degrees to save energy and prevent your pipes from freezing.
  30. Plug your chimney with insulation if you never use your fireplace.  You can also seal the doors with caulk.
  31. Clean off your central air conditioning unit outdoors with a garden hose.
  32. Keep the area surrounding your outside air conditioning unit clear for adequate airflow.
  33. Ceiling fans can significantly reduce the amount of cooling required in your home.  
  34. If your air conditioner is oversized, it will work inefficiently because it will not have the appropriate amount of time to dehumidify the air.  Make sure it is appropriate.
  35. Rather than central air conditioning, your home may be cooled with a whole-house fan.  If feasible, this will save you money.
  36. Take your air conditioners out of the windows during the winter and seal the window with weatherstripping and caulk.
  37. If you cannot remove the air conditioner during the winter purchase and install an insulated cover.
  38. Keep your central air equipment clean with a tarp in the winter when it is not in use.
  39. In winter, set office thermostat offices between 65 and 68 during the day/business hours, and 60 to 65 degrees during unoccupied times.
  40. In summer, set thermostats between 78 and 80 degrees during the day/business hours, and above 80 degrees during unoccupied hours.
    Adjust thermostats higher when cooling and lower when heating an occupied building or unoccupied areas within a building, e.g., during weekends and non-working hours.
  41. During summer months, adjusting your thermostat setting up one degree typically can save 2-3% on cooling costs.
  42. Consider installing locking devices on thermostats to maintain desired temperature settings.
  43. Install programmable thermostats that automatically adjust temperature settings based on the time of day and day of the week. – If you have multiple HVAC units, set thermostats to return to the occupied temperature a half an hour apart.
  44. When replacing your furnace make sure you choose the capacity that’s right for your home.
  45. When replacing your central air conditioning choose the appropriate capacity for your home.
  46. Shop during the off-season. Many heating and cooling manufacturers offer significant rebates during seasonal sales promotions, and dealers may charge less for installation.

Your Provider

  1. Save on energy costs by comparing electricity rates from different power providers in your state.
  2. Always read the Energy Guide label carefully, and make sure you’re comparing “apples to apples”.
  3. Remember that it pays to invest in energy efficiency. One way to do so would be by contacting local solar companies to have photovoltaic panels installed on your residence.
  4. Always read the Energy Guide label carefully, and make sure you’re comparing “apples to apples”.

In Your Home

  1. Keep plantings at least one foot away from your central air conditioning unit for adequate airflow.
  2. During late afternoon and early evening, turn off unnecessary lights and wait to use heat-producing appliances.
  3. Shade south- and west- facing windows during the hottest part of the day in the summer.
  4. As if it wasn’t already obvious, use CFL lighbulbs in your home. Get them for under a buck if you buy in bulk.
  5. A ceiling fan should blow air down in the summer and up in winter
  6. Use safety plugs in all unused outlets. These are prime places for outside air to leak into your home.
  7. If your home has a large, single-pane picture window, use heavy draperies during the winter to help hold back cold air.
  8. Check window panes to see if they need new glazing. If the glass is loose, replace the putty holding the pane in place.
  9. If drafts sneak in under exterior doors, replace the threshold.
  10. If you cannot install a weatherstripping threshold in a door, block the drafts with a rolled-up towel or blanket.
  11. Add fireproof caulk where the chimney meets the wall, inside and outside.
  12. When the fireplace is not in use, make sure fireplace dampers are sealed tight, and keep the glass doors closed.
  13. If you never use your fireplace, plug the chimney with fiberglass insulation and seal the doors with silicone caulk.
  14. Seal the edges of unused doors and windows with rope caulk.
  15. Add foam gaskets behind all outlet covers and switch plates.
  16. Unplug all electrical devices when not in use to reduce phantom load.
  17. Fix leaky faucets, especially if it’s a hot water faucet. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons a month – that’s more than one person uses in two weeks.
  18. Use smaller kitchen appliances whenever possible.
  19. Vacuum the refrigerator coils about twice a year to keep the compressor running efficiently.
  20. Don’t leave the refrigerator door open.
  21. Don’t leave the oven door open either.
  22. Keep the refrigerator temperature about 36-38 degrees, and the freezer at 0-5 degrees.
  23. Don’t overload the refrigerator or freezer.
  24. Make sure the refrigerator is level, so the door automatically swings shut instead of open.
  25. Check the seal on your refrigerator door by closing it on a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out easily, it’s time to replace the gaskets
  26. Use your oven’s self-cleaning feature immediately after cooking, while the oven is still hot.
  27. Use lids on pots and pans to reduce cooking times.
  28. Don’t put a small pan on a large burner.
  29. Clean the lint screen on the dryer every time you use the machine.
  30. Remove clothes from the dryer while they’re still damp and hang them up.
  31. Dry one load of clothes immediately after another.
  32. Keep lamps away from thermostats.
  33. Dust light fixtures regularly.
  34. Decorate with pale colors on walls, ceilings and floors. You will use less light.
  35. Get rid of spare refrigerators or freezers.
  36. Keep waterbeds covered with quilts or blankets to help retain their heat.
  37. Place humidifiers and dehumidifiers away from walls and bulky furniture
  38. If your home has no sidewall insulation, place heavy furniture like bookshelves, armoires and sofas along exterior walls, and use decorative quilts as wall hangings.
  39. When you take a vacation, turn off and unplug everything you can.
  40. Add a reflecting panel behind radiators
  41. If your home has electric baseboard heating, be sure to keep furniture and draperies away from the heaters, and leave at least a three-inch clearance under the heating unit.
  42. Keep curtains and blinds closed at night to keep cold air out, but open them during the day to let the sun warm the room.
  43. If you have hardwood or tile floors, add area rugs to keep your feet warm.
  44. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney cleaned and inspected regularly, and burn only fully dried hardwoods to produce the most heat output.
  45. In almost every case, a natural gas appliance is more economical to use than an electric model.
  46. Look for the “Energy Star” logo when you make a purchase.
  47. Don’t over-dry your laundry.
  48. Don’t bother pre-rinsing dishes with the idea that your dishwasher will work less hard.
  49. Heating food in the microwave uses only 20 percent of the energy required by a full-sized oven.
  50. Try do-it-yourself low-E windows. If your windows don’t have a low-E coating, consider applying a self-adhesive film on the glass.
  51. Use reusable containers for food storage instead of wrapping food in foil or plastic wrap.
  52. Use cloth diapers when you put a diaper on your child.
  53. Reuse whatever you can, including aluminum pie tins, glassware, plastic cutlery and aluminum foil.
  54. Keep used paper in a stack and use the flip side for scrap work. – – Perfect all of your documents before you print them. Run grammar and spell check to eliminate careless mistakes, and then preview your document in print preview.
  55. Use rechargeable batteries, instead of disposable ones.
  56. Turn off your lights and any electronics when not in use.
  57. Use rags or hand towels instead of paper towels or napkins.  
  58. Recycle paper products (newspaper, office paper, cardboard, etc), aluminum, glass, tin, steel, plastic, batteries and everything else possible.
  59. Mend and repair rather than discard and replace.
  60. If your family celebrates Christmas, buy a living Christmas trees, and plant it somewhere after the Christmas season.
  61. Buy a water bottle for yourself. Refill, use it, and carry it with you at all times.
  62. Have your heating system inspected regularly.
  63. Think twice about buying “disposable” products.
  64. Buy paper products instead of plastic if you must buy “disposables.”
  65. Buy locally grown food and locally made products when possible.
  66. Pay your bills online. Instead of using paper to pay your bills pay them over the internet instead.
  67. Shop online. Instead of taking the car to, for instance, buy a couple of books buy them online.
  68. Read your morning paper online.  
  69. Try to hold off turning on lights during the late afternoon until it is necessary.
  70. Don’t forget to shade south and west facing windows during the middle of the day in the summer.
  71. Go around your home with a candle to find air leaks.  Use caulk or expanding foam to fill those leaks.
  72. Look under your exterior doors to see if air is escaping.  If it is, install a threshold.
  73. In the winter, use rope caulk to seal the moving parts of the window.  You can remove this once the cold season is over.
  74. Make sure the access to your attic is sealed.  You can also put insulation on the back of your access door.
  75. Reduce or replace inefficient, outdated or excessive lighting within your home.
  76. When replacing old lighting equipment evaluate new technologies that may need fewer fixtures and/or fewer lamps within existing fixtures.
  77. Ensure that light levels will remain at adequate levels before changing out technologies and/or reducing number of lamps.
  78. Where practical, replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Ensure you install compatible dimming technology if CFLs are used along with a dimming system.
  79. Install lighting occupancy sensors that automatically turn lights on or off, depending on occupancy. 231) Take advantage of natural daylight: turn off or dim electric lighting when adequate sunlight is available to illuminate interior space.
  80. Leaving the refrigerator door open really does waste energy.
  81. Your refrigerator should be set around 38 degrees.
  82. Make sure there is a firm seal on your refrigerator.  If it releases even just a small amount of cold air, the energy costs will be significant.
  83. If you are going to use your oven’s self cleaning feature, use it after cooking while the oven still has heat.
  84. Always use lids on your pots while cooking.
  85. Match your cooking pan to the size of the burner; don’t cook on a large burner with a small pan.
  86. Purchase new grease plates under range burners because they will reflect heat more efficiently.
  87. Don’t run your dishwasher until there is a full load.  When you do, make sure to use the air dry cycle.
  88. Don’t wash loads of laundry until you have a full load to put together.
  89. Use cold water for all but your most dirty loads of laundry.  Always use cold water for the rinse cycle.
  90. Make sure to clean the lint screen every time you use the dryer.
  91. Dry one load of clothes immediately after another to take advantage of the heat built up in the machine.
  92. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs today!
  93. Recycle your printer toner cartridges.

Outside Your Home

  1. Recycle your printer’s toner cartridges. Find recycling companies near you.
  2. Buy products that are recycled. By purchasing these products, you are helping to conserve natural resources, and to protect the environment.
  3. Carpool or walk to reduce carbon dioxide pollution in the air.
  4. Buy in bulk–this saves not only on packaging that you would eventually have to dispose of, but reduces tremendously the amount of industrial waste generated to make the packaging.
  5. Shop for durable, long-lasting products. For example, use a metal razor instead of disposables, or a metal roasting pan instead of a disposable one.
  6. Plant a tree. One well-placed shade tree can reduce your cooling costs by 25 percent.
  7. When planting trees, place leafy shade trees to the south and west, and evergreens to the north.
  8. Reflective window film can help reduce heat gain during the summer, and it will keep furniture and carpets from fading.
  9. Maintain your central air conditioner by cleaning the outside compressor with a garden hose (be sure to shut off power at the fuse or breaker first).
  10. Don’t forget to weatherize the attic access. Secure batt insulation to the back of the hatch or door, and use weatherstripping to seal the opening.
  11. Cover the central air compressor with a tarp to keep it clean during the winter.
  12. Seal doors and windows with caulk and weatherstripping in the summer and the winter. A $15 weatherstripping kit can deliver similar effects to buying brand new windows.
  13. Keep the garage door closed, especially during the winter.
  14. If you need a new lawn mower, consider an electric model.
  15. Instead of air-polluting and expensive charcoal or propane, try an electric or natural gas grill.
  16. Keep outdoor hot tubs covered when not in use.
  17. Be aware of your paint you use – Use latex paint instead of oil-based paint. Oil-based paint is highly toxic.
  18. Bring your own shopping bags to the grocery store.
  19. If your purchase is small don’t take any bag
  20. Buy products with recycled contents.
  21. Precycle-make an effort to buy products with recyclable packaging.
  22. Leave the grass clippings on the lawn.
  23. Start a backyard composting bin for yard clippings.
  24. Make recycling easy by putting recycle bins in the rooms where you use the products.
  25. Replace paper cups, plates and napkins with washable, reusable cups and plates and cloth napkins.
  26. Buy fruits and veggies loose, and not in plastic bags.
  27. Dispose of leftover food, yard trimmings, and weeds by starting a compost pit in your backyard. When contents decompose into soil use the soil for plants and gardening.
  28. Plant trees in your community.
  29. Don’t use electrical appliances for things you can easily do by hand, such as opening cans.
  30. Save wire coat hangers and return them to the dry cleaners.
  31. Start a compost pile.
  32. Plant short, dense shrubs close to your home’s foundation to help insulate your home against cold.
  33. Use mulch to conserve water in your garden.
  34. Keep your car tuned up.
  35. Use public transit whenever possible.
  36. On weekends, ride your bike or walk instead.
  37. Buy a more fuel-efficient model (such as a hybrid or electric) when you’re ready for a new car.
  38. Recycle your engine oil.
  39. Keep your tires properly inflated to save gas.
  40. Keep your wheels properly aligned to save your tires. (It’s safer too.)
  41. Call your local government to see if they have a disposal location for used car batteries and other hazardous household wastes.
  42. Send e-greetings instead of paper cards.
  43. Plant local species of trees.
  44. Find the quickest route. To avoid getting lost and to not use more gas than necessary look up where you are going before you leave.
  45. Fill your yard with trees, not only are they good for the environment, a well-placed shade tree can reduce cooling costs significantly.
  46. Ensure outdoor lighting is off during daytime.

Water Conservation

  1. Set the water heater temperature at 120 degrees – about halfway between low and medium.
  2. Use aerators on kitchen and bathroom sink faucets.
  3. Take showers, not baths.
  4. If your water heater is more than 15 years old, install an insulating wrap to reduce “standby” heat loss.
  5. If accessible, insulate hot water pipes passing through unconditioned space.
  6. Run the dishwasher only with full loads, and use the air-dry cycle.
  7. Wash only full loads of clothes, and be sure to set the water level appropriately.
  8. Use hot water only for very dirty loads, and always use cold water for the rinse cycle.
  9. Install a low flow showerhead; don’t worry they’re well engineered today to still deliver high water pressure.
  10. When you’re away from the house for an extended time, set your water heating to the lowest setting.
  11. Use small plastic bottles, filled with water or stones to displace the amount of water in toilets.
  12. Don’t let the water run while you’re shampooing or conditioning your hair or washing your body.
  13. Turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth .
  14. Flush the toilet less often.
  15. Collect the water used to wash vegetables and salad to water your houseplants.
  16. Don’t buy bottled water if you know your tap water is safe – transporting water from its source to the supermarket shelves is an expensive waste of energy. Find water companies that can deliver potable water near you.
  17. Collect rainwater to water your flowers.
  18. Set your hot water heater to the lowest temperature that will still allow you to have warm water.
  19. Water saving showerheads and faucets save hot water.  Well designed units will not reduce your water pressure.
  20. One drop a second of hot water coming from a leaky faucet can use more hot water than one person uses in two weeks.  Fix the leak.
  21. Baths use much more water than a 10 minute shower.
  22. Install insulation around your hot water if the label does instruct you not to do so.  Many older units are not adequately insulated.
  23. Drain the sediment from you water heater.
  24. When you’re away from the house for an extended time set your water heating to the lowest setting.

Electronics

  1. Purchase a residential wind power generator.
  2. Use energy saving power strips on your heaviest energy draining devices.
  3. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  4. Use light dimmers. Be careful with CFC bulbs because they may not be compatible with dimmer switches.
  5. Use motion sensors in your switches to have lights turn off when no one is in the room.
  6. Install timers on lights that tend to be left on for longer than they are needed.
  7. Use only a single bulb in a multi-socket fixtures.
  8. Replace an incandescent outdoor light or high-intensity floodlight with a high-pressure sodium fixtures.
  9. Get a thermal link detector identify hidden sources of cold or hot air entering your home. A side benefit is that they’re really cool and you can use them telling how hot your pans are when you cook!
  10. Install timers on appliances that tend to be left on longer than they are needed.
  11. Remember that it pays to invest in energy efficiency.
  12. When purchasing a refrigerator, choose the capacity that’s right for your family.
  13. Decrease TV watching.
  14. Turn off the lights, TV, or other electrical appliances when you are out of a room.
  15. Don’t use electrical equipment like leaf-blowers as they consume so much energy for so little gain. Use a rake instead – it’s better for your health too! – Take time out to sit out in your backyard with friends and family, and appreciate the beauty of nature!
  16. To conserve energy and reduce internal heat gain turn off computers, monitors, printers and copiers during non-business hours.
  17. Ensure that the built-in power management system for your office equipment is active.
  18. Ensure your screen saver is compatible with the computer’s power management features, and that the setup allows the system to go into power saver mode.
  19. Using a laptop computer instead of a desk-top system can save 80-90% in electrical cost.

Miscellaneous

  1. Start websites about saving energy to convince other people to do the same. That way your efforts can be multiplied.
  2. Drive steadily–and a bit slower. Hard acceleration and abrupt braking will use more fuel than if you start and slow more moderately.
  3. If you travel at 65 mph instead of 55, you are penalized by lowering your mileage 12.5 percent. If you get your vehicle up to 75 mph, you’re losing 25 percent compared with mileage at 55 mph.
  4. A loaded roof rack can decrease an SUV’s fuel efficiency by 5 percent, and that of a more aerodynamic car by 15 percent or more.
  5. Stick with regular. If your car’s manufacturer specifies regular gas, don’t buy premium with the thought of going faster or operating more efficiently.
  6. After starting the car in the morning, begin driving right away; don’t let it sit and “warm up” for several minutes.
  7. Stop Junk Mail write to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, 11 West 42nd St., PO Box 3861, New York, NY 10163-3861.
  8. Inflate your tires well. This preserves the life of the tires and saves gas, which ultimately saves money.
  9. Print or copy on both sides of the paper.
  10. Use smaller paper for smaller memos.
  11. Re-use manila envelopes and file folders.
  12. Join a conservation organization.
  13. Volunteer your time to energy conservation projects.
  14. Give money to energy conservation projects.
  15. Convert by example. Encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to save resources too.
  16. Learn about energy conservation issues in your community or state.
  17. Teach children to respect nature and the environment.
  18. If you journal, use your computer instead of a notepad.
  19. Email what you can.
  20. Work from your home. If you can.
  21. Educate and encourage coworkers to be energy-conscious and to offer ideas about how energy can be saved.
  22. Designate a “responsible party” in your home to be responsible for and to promote good energy practices for the organization and/or facility.
  23. Replace incandescent “EXIT” signs with LED signs. LEDs use about one-tenth the wattage and last 50 times longer than incandescent-lamp signs.

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