There are so many ways to save electricity and reduce both your bills and your toll on natural resources. Whenever you use even a little less electricity than you used to, you can help on both counts.
Saving electricity doesn’t have to be complicated or require drastic lifestyle changes. By following even some of these tips, you can make a significant impact on your energy consumption and reduce your energy bills.
Start incorporating these energy-saving habits into your daily routine and encourage your family members to do the same.
There are plenty of easy and practical ways to save electricity and reduce energy bills. Some of these are more complicated than others.
For example, upgrading appliances is expensive. But adjusting your thermostat is something you can do in a few seconds, and it will make a lasting change.
The goal doesn’t have to be to do every single thing on the list. Just do what you can, and do more later.
1. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances
Investing in energy-efficient appliances is a smart move that can significantly reduce your electricity consumption. When it’s time to replace your appliances, look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label.
This label indicates they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Energy-efficient appliances use less electricity to perform the same tasks, helping you save money in the long run.
Be sure you see one of these blue logos and don’t confuse it with the yellow Energy Guide sticker.
2. Unplug Electronics When Not in Use (See Tip 6)
Did you know that even when electronic devices are turned off, they can still consume electricity if they are plugged in? This phenomenon is known as “vampire power” or “standby power.”
To prevent this unnecessary energy waste, unplug your electronics when they are not in use or use power strips with an on/off switch to easily cut the power supply to multiple devices at once.
3. Optimize Your Lighting
Lighting accounts for a big portion of household electricity consumption. By making a few simple changes, you can reduce your lighting-related energy usage. Here’s how:
- Switch to energy-efficient LED light bulbs, which consume less electricity than traditional bulbs and last for years. The switch alone will save you money and hassle on changing bulbs.
- Use natural light during the day by opening curtains and blinds instead of relying solely on artificial lighting.
- Install motion sensor or timer switches in areas where lights are frequently left on by accident, such as hallways and bathrooms.
4. Adjust Your Thermostat
Lower your thermostat a few degrees in winter and raise it slightly in summer to reduce heating and cooling costs. Consider using fans or natural ventilation to cool your home instead of relying solely on air conditioning.
If your thermostat allows scheduling, set the temperature to be a little less comfortable during the hours when no one’s home.
5. Seal Air Leaks
Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weatherstripping or caulking. Use draft stoppers or door sweeps to prevent air leaks under doors. Proper insulation also helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature.
6. Use Energy-Saving Power Strips
Use power strips equipped with timers or sensors to automatically cut power to connected devices when they’re not in use. This eliminates standby power and saves electricity.
7. Opt for Natural Cooling and Heating Methods
Use window coverings to block direct sunlight in summer and open curtains or blinds during the day in winter to let sunlight warm your home naturally. Plant trees strategically for shade and to reduce heat entering your living spaces.
8. Do Laundry the Efficient Way
Wash your clothes in cold water, run full loads, and consider air-drying clothes instead of using the dryer.
9. Set Your Computer to Sleep Mode
Set your computer to sleep mode or turn it off when not in use. This saves electricity and extends the lifespan of your computer.
10. Air Dry or Towel Dry Dishes
Allow your dishes to air dry or towel dry them instead of using the drying function on your dishwasher. This reduces energy consumption and saves you money.
11. Use Energy-Efficient Showerheads
Install low-flow showerheads that use less hot water. This reduces water heating costs and saves electricity.
Bonus Tip for Saving Water:
Look for shower heads that have a variety of settings that you can easily change a couple of times during the course of your shower. Some have a setting that trickles a very small amount of water.
This is perfect for shower tasks like shaving legs, where you don’t need a full stream of water.
12. Insulate Your Water Heater
Insulate your water heater to prevent heat loss. This ensures that your water stays hot for longer periods, reducing the need for frequent reheating.
13. Cook Efficiently
Match the size of your pots and pans to the size of the burners on your stove. Cover pots and pans while cooking to retain heat and cook food faster.
14. Use a Microwave or Toaster Oven
When possible, use a microwave or toaster oven instead of a full-sized oven. These appliances use less energy and heat up quickly.
15. Upgrade to an Induction Cooktop
Induction cooktops are amazing. They use less electricity than traditional ones, and put out the least amount of fumes to pollute your indoor hair.
Studies have found they can even help with asthma!
16. Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Efficient
Ensure that the seals on your fridge and freezer are tight to prevent cold air from escaping. Set the temperature to the recommended levels, and avoid placing hot food directly into the fridge.
17. Unplug Battery Chargers
Once your devices are fully charged, unplug the chargers. Leaving chargers plugged in without devices attached still consumes electricity.
18. Use Task Lighting
Instead of illuminating an entire room, use task lighting for specific activities like reading or working. This reduces overall energy consumption.
19. Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are an energy-efficient way to cool your home. Use them in conjunction with your air conditioner to circulate cool air more effectively.
20. Maintain Your HVAC System
Regularly clean or replace air filters in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. A dirty filter restricts airflow and makes the system work harder, consuming more energy.
Have an HVAC contractor come out twice a year to do routine maintenance on your unit.
21. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Windows
Windows keep getting more energy efficient. Almost anytime you upgrade yours, you’ll find yourself saving electricity and keeping the temperature in your home more comfortable.
22. Use a Clothesline or Drying Rack
Whenever possible, dry your clothes outdoors on a clothesline or use a drying rack indoors. This reduces reliance on the dryer and saves electricity.
23. Reduce Hot Water Usage
Take shorter showers and install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators to reduce hot water consumption.
24. Use Sleep Mode for Electronics
Enable sleep mode on computers, printers, and other electronic devices to reduce energy consumption when they’re not in use.
25. Insulate Your Home
Properly insulate your home to prevent heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer. This reduces the need for excessive heating and cooling.
26. Use Energy-Saving Settings on Appliances
Use energy-saving settings on appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators. These settings help conserve energy without sacrificing performance.