ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

25 Ways to Save Energy

Updated on March 30, 2009

Energy Efficient Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

Installing weatherstripping
Installing weatherstripping

There is no denying that times are tough and we are all wondering how to save a few extra dollars here and there. Saving energy should be and probably is at the top of everyone's list these days, particularly with fuel prices at record highs. Here is a quick list of 25 things that homeowners can do to save energy costs, as well as go green at the same time. When you cut down on the amount you spend on your gas and electricity bill, you also help reduce your carbon footprint and the plant breathes easier. It's a win-win for all involved.

1. Add an extra layer of insulation to the attic and/or crawl space of your house, under floors and next to basement walls. Have it inspected annually to make sure that it is evenly distributed so that it does its job.

2. Caulk or seal all cracks and seams. Add weather stripping around all windows and doors. Estimates are that you can save up to 30% on your heating or cooling bills.

3. Install an adjustable thermostat. Program it so that the temperature is lower during the winter (or higher during the summer) during hours you are not home. About one hour before you are expected to return, set the thermostat to the desired temperature. For winter, 68 degrees F should be comfortable. For summer, aim for 75 degrees F.

4. Add landscaping around your home to provide shade from hot summer sun and harsh winter wind. Consider areas that are most exposed to the elements and plant fast growing native trees. You may also wish to reconsider patios on the south or west sides of the home as they are reflective and will increase temperatures in the home during summer seasons.

Landscaping to save energy
Landscaping to save energy
What is your carbon footprint?
What is your carbon footprint?

How Much Energy Are You Using?

4. Dry your clothes on a clothesline. Provided your homeowners association doesn't disallow the practice, you can save up to 50 cents per load by drying out in the sunshine! The clothes dryer is the third most energy-depleting appliance in your home, after the refrigerator and the washing machine. Give it a break, save some money and also release a little less CO2 into the atmosphere.

5. Humidify your home to make it feel warmer during the winter. In your main living area, run a humidifier using filtered water.

6. De-humidify your home during the summer to make it more comfortable. Some portable A/C units have de-humidifying options to allow you to take excess moisture out of the air.

7. Raise blinds to allow sun to shine in on the south and west sides of your home during the winter. Radiant heat will help warm the rooms.

8. Open windows early in the morning to let cool morning air in during the summer. Just be sure to close them before the temperature starts rising.

9. Close vents and doors to unused rooms of your home (i.e. guest rooms). You'll spend less on heating and cooling costs.

10. Insulate pipes. Again, you will save money on costs to heat your water, up to 35% off your natural gas or electric bill.

Fight Global Warming TV Ad

11. Install energy efficient doors and windows. This will further cut down on leaks that drain the heat or cooling from your home.

12. Clean and inspect your furnace and ducts before winter. While you are at it, put in a fresh air filter each year.

13. Purchase and use rechargeable batteries. When stored in the refrigerator, rechargeable batteries can last over 1,000 charges, saving you $80/year- even after their initial price tag. Moreover, they can be recycled. Do not trash them!

14. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFS). Each light bulb can save $30 in electricity costs over its lifetime, as well as 2000 times its weight in greenhouse gases. They use 75% less energy than regular incandescent bulbs! There is really no easier way to make a small change with a big impact.

15. Unplug all appliances that are not in use (i.e. coffee makers, toasters, cell phone chargers, tvs, etc.). Alternatively, plug into a power strip and then flip off the power with a single switch when you leave.

16. Shut your computer down when done using it - do not just put it in "sleep" mode. Phantom loads such as those wasted by consumers paying for devices that are plugged in but not in use total 5% of the United State's electricity load each year!

17. When buying new appliances, choose models with the lowest standby power consumption.

18. Replace your gas-powered lawnmower with a push-reel model. Its not only great for the environment, but you'll save at the pump and get some great exercise!

19. Lower the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees F.

20. Vacuum registers and vents to keep the air flowing freely. Blockages can keep your house either too cool or too hot, depending on the season.

21. Close curtains and blinds during the day while you are away to keep temperature relatively constant. Closing them at night will also help trap warm air inside during winter.

22. Install a water-saving shower head. A family of four can save up to $250 a year on the water bill! Water pressure will not be affected.

23. Only run the dishwasher with full loads and use the air-dry cycle (no heat).

24. Wash clothes in warm or cold water; only use the hot cycle for very dirty loads. Of course, wait to run the wash until you have a full load.

25. Turn off lights when not in use; consider using dimmer switches and/or motion detectors so that you use only the amount of light required for the task, when it is required.

There are many, many more ways to cut energy costs around the home. The 25 items in this list are among the practices that we have instituted in the past year or two (and some to which we have always adhered). Let's grow this list to 50 ways to save energy - or more! I would love to read your comments of additional ways to save energy. Please share below.

Comments - How Else Do You Save Energy?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      pgrundy 8 years ago

      Very useful hub! Thank you. Everyone is looking for ways to reduce their bills now and this is a great start, plus it does help the enviroment. We do most of these things except unplugging all the little appliances when we leave. We should do that, we just never do.

    • MummyAnn profile image

      MummyAnn 8 years ago from UK

      Great hub, some good pointers there.

    • New Day profile image
      Author

      New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

      Thank you pgrundy! We need to do better with the little appliances too. I am in the home building industry and one day there will be smart homes that actually sense when we are home or not and will shut off the electrical current. We're even talking about including these "fancy" upgrades in affordable housing as well, particularly because green building is so important to the environment and consumers. For now (and the foreseeable future), we'll have to manually flip off switches and think about saving energy.

    • New Day profile image
      Author

      New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

      Thank you for stopping by Mummy Ann! I hope it helps people take a few steps to save some money and reduce energy.

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 8 years ago from Southern California

      Lots of great ideas for saving energy, thanks.

    • New Day profile image
      Author

      New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

      Thank you Steve - we were brushing up on some of our efforts to save energy around the home, so I decided that it would be a good topic.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

      very nice==good tips, good writing, and good links too--thanks New Day

    • New Day profile image
      Author

      New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

      Thank you Robie2! I really appreciate your comments. I hope that more people read this article and get some good ideas on how to save $$ and energy. Thanks! New Day

    • sixtyorso profile image

      sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

      Hi New Day

      Great hub very topical for us here in Southa Africa where load shedding (see my hub if you wish) has described some of the issues facing us in South Africa.

    • New Day profile image
      Author

      New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

      Thank you! All across the world we need to conserve energy. I will take a look at your Hub too, Sixtyorso. Perhaps we can link our hubs together. New Day.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Good hub, NewDay. I did try rechargeable batteries (I use my MP3 portable disc player a lot), really wanted them to work, but they're just so unreliable. They were always leaving me in a lurch. So, I've gone back to Duracells. But, all the others, I practice with diligence.

    • New Day profile image
      Author

      New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

      Thanks Constant Walker. That is disappointing about the rechargeable batteries. Hopefully the technology will improve so that people don't have to spend so much replacing batteries all the time. :-) Glad to hear that you are so Green. New Day

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      My dad is an electrician, so he always preferred to install fluorescent light bulbs and I have always enjoyed the light they give. One thing I do when I wash all my clothes is wash everything in cold as much as possible because it usually cleans just as well as warm water. I have also noticed some of my outfits look just as nice as they did when I purchased these several years ago and have not faded. One thing I do is hang all of my clothes on my shower rack, which avoids having to go outside and hang a clothesline. I have always done this and it works well for me. Thanks for the informative hub.

    • New Day profile image
      Author

      New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

      SweetiePie - thank you for the great additional tip on drying clothes, and washing in cold. We always wash in cold too (unless there is a specific stain on a piece of white fabric). Hot or warm water does indeed fade clothes faster, and costs so much more! There are some good drying racks available for people to use inside too. I should find some links and add to my Hub. Have a great day! New Day.

    • flutterbug77 profile image

      flutterbug77 8 years ago from USA

      The compact flourescent bulbs are great. I've got one in every light fixture in my home. I read your bio. I too love Italy. I was there only once when I was about eight or nine and I can still remember it. The streets, the people and the gondolas were all wonderful sights I'll never forget!

    • New Day profile image
      Author

      New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

      Hi Flutterbug, so glad to hear that you're in the "right light." :-) They can be more expensive, than regular bulbs, but they sure pay off in the long run. Plus, you can feel good about being green. Yes - Italy is a dream. I have been there twice: once when I was 16 and again when I was about 25. I am way overdue to go back. Its tough - do I visit Italy again, or explore somewhere new? :-)

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

      great list - we do many of those too.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      complete list of household tips on how to save energy, at the same time save the environment and money. nice hub.

    • ratnaveera profile image

      ratnaveera 8 years ago from Cumbum

      Energy saving means Money saving! Thanks for this great Hub!

    • ramkumar45 profile image

      ramkumar45 8 years ago from INDIA

      Good technical info

    • EcoAsh profile image

      EcoAsh 7 years ago from Hemet

      excellent hub! great ways to save energy.

    • EcoAsh profile image

      EcoAsh 7 years ago from Hemet

      excellent hub! great ways to save energy.

    • Kimberly Bunch profile image

      Kimberly Bunch 7 years ago from EAST WENATCHEE

      Fantastic Hub! Here's a little extra: https://hubpages.com/technology/saveenergy

    • shimb profile image

      shimb 7 years ago

      very nice cat.

    • couponalbum profile image

      couponalbum 6 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

      Great hub, some very good tips out there. Joined your fanclub and would like to invite you to join mine.

    • profile image

      Stuti 6 years ago

      the list was really helpful for all those who care for the environment but besides buying these appliances one could make sure that the appliances that one possess are used effectively and judiciously like mentioned above-switching them off when not in use, minimaising the use of cars and using public transport instead.......you know there are many who want to do something for the environment but it is not necessary to be the owner of all those expensive appliances......what matter the most is our determination. So let's start at a small scale and see how big a difference we can make.

    • lindsays5624 profile image

      lindsays5624 6 years ago

      A great set of ideas for saving energy. I particularly light the practical ones like turn off the lights and fill the dishwasher full. Did you know that LED lights actually save more than CFL's.

    • profile image

      Beverly Hills Electrician 6 years ago

      great tips! saving energy=saves money and the environment. who wouldn't want that? thanks

    • profile image

      roofing companies in Miami 6 years ago

      Many people are aware for saving energy, not only because they want to save money, but they are aware about saving the Earth from climate change. If you want to make your home cooler, an eco-friendly roof is helpful for insulation.

    • profile image

      Timmy 6 years ago

      I have a project on saving energy any ides?

    • profile image

      Los Angeles Lofts 6 years ago

      thanks for the useful tips.

    • profile image

      mary jane 5 years ago

      thoes are some good ways to save energy

    • profile image

      neha 4 years ago

      gr8 tips

    Click to Rate This Article