Saving energy doesn’t have to mean getting new appliances, installing insulation, or replacing windows. There are plenty of ways to lower your energy bills and protect the environment that don’t require a lot of time or money.
1. Wash laundry with cold water. Washing clothing in cold water instead of hot can save $152 per year.
2. Air-dry clothing. Get yourself an old-fashioned clothesline. If you’re concerned about allergens getting into your clothing, dry inside on hangers.
3. Turn on fans. Fans make a room feel cooler, and could save up to $438 per year.
4. Replace air filters monthly. Dirty filters restrict airflow, causing the HVAC system to run longer and use more energy.
5. Don’t cool or heat an empty house. If you have a programmable thermostat, use it! If you don’t have one, get one! Close off rooms you aren’t occupying, as well.
6. Close the door. Close attic, basement, garage and exterior doors to prevent drafts and keep in heat or A/C.
7. Unplug electronics. Phone chargers, computers, TVs, any electronic gizmo that stays plugged in when not in use is sucking up your money. Consumer Reports found that you can save $25 to $75 each year just by putting your computer on standby.
8. Consider your light bulbs. Turn off lights you aren’t using. Replace 60-watt light bulbs with compact fluorescents or LEDs.
9. Take a shower instead of a bath. And install a low-flow aerator or flow restrictor on an existing showerhead. By doing both, you’ll use less water.
10. Think before you cook. The stove or oven may not always be the best choice. Crockpots or a microwave oven may be more energy efficient.
11. Help your refrigerator/freezer work more efficiently. Leave room in front of a refrigerator/freezer to allow cold air to circulate better. Since frozen food stays cold longer than air, it’s good to keep the freezer full, but not packed.