Save Money with Energy Efficiency
Conserving energy reduces costs around your home.
Saving money doesn’t always require formulas and investment accounts. Sometimes, saving is as easy as changing a light bulb.
Whether you rent or own, there are many ways you can save money by conserving energy. The best part is it’s easier than you think.
Heating and cooling
- Get a home energy audit to see where you’re wasting energy – and money. If you can’t schedule one, use a do-it-yourself audit tool from the Department of Energy.
- Replace an older, inefficient furnace or heating system with a newer, high-efficiency one.
- Schedule an annual tune-up for your central air conditioner or furnace.
- Clean or replace the filters on forced air furnaces.
- Seal flues in fireplaces you don’t use.
- Use caulk or expanding foam to seal gaps around doors, windows, electric outlets and cable access points that let warm air escape in winter and cold air seep out in summer.
- Install ceiling fans. The moving air helps keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
- Install a programmable thermostat. In the winter you can let the temperature in your home drop while you’re away or asleep. In the summer, you can let the temperature rise a little while you’re away or asleep.
- Shut off rooms you aren't using. This keeps the heated (or cooled) air in spaces you actually use.
- If you’re getting a new furnace, air conditioner or major appliance, look for a replacement with the highest energy-efficiency rating. The Federal Trade Commission maintains an Appliance Energy Database that lists results of energy efficiency tests.
- Keep your refrigerator away from the stove, dishwasher and other heat sources, and make sure its door seals are airtight.
- Only do full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine.
- Use pots that fit the size of the stove burners. Use lids so you can cook at a lower temperature.
Around the house
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, which provide just as much light, use one-fourth the energy and last about 10 times longer.
- Add insulation in walls and the attic. The higher the “R-value,” the more energy you can save.
- If you’re in the market for new windows, consider high-efficiency alternatives.
- Well-placed trees and shrubs can shade your house in the summer, saving on air conditioning costs.
- Install cellular window shades or insulator kits. If air is leaking past your windows, you can block the draft with cellular shades or plastic insulator kits. These help keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
- Lower your water heater’s temperature to 120°F and insulate hot water lines so they don’t cool off as much between uses.