American homes consume a significant amount of energy — more than the global average. The energy we use for our appliances and electronics comes from natural gas, oil, coal, and nuclear energy sources.
A small percentage of the national energy use comes from renewable sources such as hydroelectric power and solar, wind, and geothermal power. The largest sources by far are nuclear, natural gas, and coal — the last two of which create millions of metric tons of greenhouse gases per year.
Finding ways to cut down your home’s energy use may seem like a tiny drop in the pool of conservation efforts, but a million tiny drops add up. Below are three simple ways you can make some significant changes in your home’s energy use.
Turn Off the Lights
There’s no doubt that turning off lights on a regular basis saves energy. But how much? Incandescents and halogens use much heat and are actually inefficient lighting sources. Replace these types of bulbs with CFL and LED bulbs, which use about 25 to 80 percent less energy while lasting three to 25 times longer.
As a general rule, turn off lights when not in use. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests calculating your energy use by looking at the wattage rate of the bulbs, the length of time they are on, and how much your electricity company charges per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
Buy Energy Star Appliances
Consider all the major appliances you use. Your stove, refrigerator, water heater, air conditioner, and furnace are all appliances you rely on daily. You use them often, and they do fairly large and important tasks that use significant amounts of energy. The more efficient they are at doing their jobs, the more energy you can save. Buying Energy Star appliances can help with energy savings and performance levels.
Be sure to also take care of your appliances. Learn how to clean them and do simple maintenance tasks so that they run at the highest level of efficiency in your home.
Prioritize Your Heating System
Your heating and cooling systems should also reflect Energy Star models. Heating alone is responsible for almost half of your home’s energy use, and maintenance is also key to keeping these units in good operating condition. Air conditioners or furnaces that aren’t serviced regularly can develop issues that translate to significant energy waste and expensive spikes in your energy bill.
You can also take other steps to boost your HVAC system’s efficiency and keep your home’s warmth indoors during the winter. Some of these steps include adding attic insulation, sealing air leaks, and replacing older windows with energy-efficient thermal windows. Similarly, consider investing in a smart or programmable thermostat that allows you to set your thermostat to follow your daily routines. These changes can save on energy usage in the home and help you to stay on top of your overall energy consumption.
If you make changes to your home through some of the ways described, you should notice a difference when you check your energy consumption rates on your monthly bills.
robin Rue says
My kids leave lights on all the time. I always have to make them go back to shut them off.
Thanks for sharing these tips. they are helpful and definitely helps me to save energy and money.
Leigh Anne Borders says
This is coming in at the right time. Things are starting to heat up here in the south. I really need to save energy when I can.
Solar power can save you a lot of money. As a student, I’m grateful my house has some things are connected to solar.
Sarah Bailey says
I switch off the lights whenever I can. I also turn heaters and coolers off when I don’t need them.
Elizabeth O. says
It’s really nice to be able to save money on your energy bill especially when you’re following a strict budget. These are really helpful!
Annemarie LeBlanc says
Turning off the lights when not in use does help reduce the power consumption in our house. Maintaining appliances in tip top condition also helps a lot. I had our airconditioner’s filters cleaned and I saw a marked decrease in our power bill. Thank you for sharing this article!
Kelly Hutchinson says
I am so bad about turning the thermostat down too low! I know I am wasting energy that way.
Oyinkan Ogunleye says
Spring is sooo great because there’s no need for a heating system per se! Unlike winter lol
We have to replace the insulation in the floors (it was taken out to treat the baseboards for wood boring beetles) and I noticed the floors were SO cold this past winter! Oh, and not to mention, it took a lot more to keep our cabin warm too!
Angie Rose says
Such great tips! I’m trying to be more mindful of energy use. I make a conscious effort to turn off lights when I leave the room!
KARLYN CRUZ says
Make a habit of turning off all lights and electronics in your home. This post really helps.
Jojo Vito | The Happy Trip says
We’d just completed replacing all of our bulbs at home with LED. It shows a big impact on our monthly bill.
Jay Simms says
We are wanting to start saving more on our energy bill. I am going to have to give a few of these tips a try.
Kristen from The Road to Domestication says
Great ideas! I’m big on turning off the lights LOL (It could probably be a full time job for me to follow everyone in my family around and turn off the lights after them. I guess I need to train them better 🙂
These are some really great tips to save energy
Jennifer L says
I’ve incorporated more energy efficient products in my home and its definitely so easy to do. Definitely recommend switching old products for energy efficient ones.
Hannah Marie says
Your tips are really useful. We always find ways to reduce home energy use.
Turning off lights and appliances is huge! It’s a hard habit to start, but once you start it, you never forget.
I apply a lot of these tips already. I can’t see giving all the money you worked hard for to bills. I tell my son it takes but a moment to flip the switch down.
The tips are good! I always switch off the light when I leave the room, it is such a waste of energy to have the light on when nobody is in that room.
Angela Milnes says
This is a great post. I am looking at ways to save energy and costs so this is a really useful post.