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Tips to save energy and money at home

No-cost and Low-cost Updated: July 28, 2021

Check out some tips on easy ways to save on your lighting and electronics energy costs

Lights and electronics

  • Install LED bulbs in your most frequently used lights to save the most on energy costs—kitchens and bathrooms are a great place to start. Look for the Energy Trust logo at participating retailers.
  • Turn off lights when not needed and use motion sensors for outdoor lighting.
  • Unplug battery chargers for mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other devices when not in use—they use energy even when they’re not actively charging anything.
  • Group office and entertainment equipment on easily accessible power strips that can be switched off.

Staying comfortable

  • Add weather stripping to drafty doors and windows and close storm windows during cold months, or install simple interior storm window kits.
  • Apply caulking around windows to reduce drafts and improve air quality.
  • Caulk small holes and cracks around ducts, pipes, exhaust fans, vents, sink and bathtub drains, fireplace and under countertops.
  • Vacuum your vents regularly to keep air flowing freely.
  • Close fireplace and wood stove dampers when not in use, but wait until the fire is out and the ashes are cold.
  • Cover bare floors with rugs to add comfort and retain heat.
  • Heat your home in winter with help from the sun by leaving window shades or blinds open during the daytime; close window coverings at night to help keep the heat in.
  • Turn down the thermostat to 65–68°F during the day and 58–60°F at night during cooler months. If you have a heat pump, turn the thermostat down no more than 3°F at night. In warm weather, set your heat pump or air conditioner to 72–75°F.
  • Use ceiling fans to push hot air down in winter and make cool air feel cooler in summer.
  • Clean or replace filters regularly to help your heater or air conditioner work at peak efficiency.
  • Combine fans with air conditioning—a fan circulates cool air so you can raise the thermostat and still stay comfortable.
  • Use a window fan to pull cool air in on the shady side of your house and blow hot air out on the opposite side of the house.
  • Skip the heat-generating oven and use your microwave on hit summer days.
  • Use light-colored shades to reflect heat.
  • Plant a tree to provide shade for your home.

In the kitchen and bathroom

  • Use the water-saving setting on your dishwasher and scrape the food off your plates rather than using water.
  • Use the energy-saver drying option on your dishwasher or let dishes air dry.
  • Install efficient showerheads and kitchen and bathroom aerators.
  • Keep your freezer and fridge full to help perform better—containers filled with water do the trick.
  • Let hot foods cool before putting them in the fridge or freezer so they don’t have to work as hard.
  • Avoid covering oven racks with foil. Food cooks more quickly when air moves freely around it.
  • Shorten showers to cut hot water costs—using a timer can help you reduce shower time.
  • Check your water pipes, toilets and faucets for leaks and repair any you find.
  • Run your kitchen and bathroom fans to vent moisture.