Tips to Reduce Home Energy Expenses

Whether you live in a house, a condo or an apartment, you can implement new habits to reduce your home energy usage and lower your bills at the same time. Plus, you're also helping protect the environment! Here are some simple tips to help you save on energy and keep your bills as low as possible.

Keeping it cool

  • Set your thermostat to 78° F or higher in the summer.
  • Use ceiling fans in occupied rooms to keep cool.
  • Close blinds and curtains during the day to block the sun’s heat.
  • Keep your AC fan on "auto," not "on."
  • Clean or change air filters monthly. Dirty filters make your system work harder and longer than necessary.

Light up your home for less

  • Turn off unneeded lights, even when leaving a room for a short time. Lights generate heat that increases room temperature. Lighting accounts for about 10% of your energy use.
  • Install LED light bulbs. LEDs use 90% less electricity, generate less heat, and last 10-25 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs, and five times longer than compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
  • Use photocell sensors on your outdoor lights.

Control your water heater

  • Set the water heater thermostat to 120° F to save more cash.
  • Use the vacation setting when you are away.
  • Insulate your electric water heater with an insulated blanket to keep from losing additional energy.

Cook smart in the kitchen

  • Check your refrigerator and freezer temperatures. Recommended temperatures are 35-38° F for the fresh food compartment and 0-5° F for freezers.
  • Make sure your refrigerator and freezer doors seal properly. To test, close the door over a dollar bill. If you can pull the dollar out easily, you may need to replace the seal around the door or adjust the door latch.
  • Cook with lids on pots to reduce energy use and heat. This will bring liquids to a boil more quickly and will allow continued cooking at lower temperature settings.
  • Use glass and ceramic pans. They retain heat better than metal pans and can lower the baking temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Try to cook in the morning. Kitchen heat can make your air conditioner work harder during the hotter parts of the day.
  • Let food cool before placing in the refrigerator. Warm food will cause your refrigerator to run more.
  • Cover food and liquids stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture making the compressor work harder.
  • Run the dishwasher when it is full, but not overloaded.
  • Let dishes air dry instead of using your dishwasher’s heated dry setting.

Don’t let your electronics waste energy

  • Unplug appliances and electronic devices when you are not using them. They use energy, even when they are turned off.
  • Use power strips in home offices, entertainment centers, and other areas. Turn the strip off when not in use.
  • Use timers on surge protectors when they are difficult to get to.
  • Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room.