Easy Energy Savings Tips
Looking to make a dent in your energy use without investing too much time or money? Here are some tips to get you started.
- Switch to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and save money. They use about 75 percent less energy and last six to 10 times longer than regular light bulbs. Check here for tips on lights that are right for your home.
- Put reminders on light switch plates to remind children (or yourself) to turn off lights when leaving a room.
- Change the settings on your computer so that it enters sleep-mode after a few minutes of inactivity. If you’ll be away from your computer for a while, turn it off.
- To maximize energy savings, use power strips for phone chargers and other electronics. Then you only need to flip one switch when you’re done charging or using your electronics.
- Most of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating water. Using warm water instead of hot can cut energy use in half. Cold water can mean greater savings.
- To maximize your washing machine's efficiency, use the water setting that matches your laundry load size.
- An appliance thermometer can help you check the settings of your refrigerator and freezer. In general, refrigerators should be 35-38 degrees and freezers 5 degrees, refer to your owner's manual.
- Turn off your automatic ice maker and save 14 to 20 percent on your refrigerator's energy consumption. Check your owner's manual. Some ice makers have an on/off switch, if not you can simply lift the metal arm to the up position.
- When your fireplace is not in use, make sure the flue is closed.
- Try setting your thermostat down a few degrees in the winter and up a few in the summer. A programmable thermostat will help you stick to it.
- Insert child-proof plugs into electrical outlets on exterior walls to reduce air flow from outside.
- Lower your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Each 10 degree reduction saves 3 to 5 percent in energy costs. Use the vacation setting if you’ll be out of the house for long periods of time. More water heater tips.