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3 Simple Ways to Save Energy (and Money) at Home

Mother helping child turn on washing machine.

Lower energy bills and higher savings balances? Yes, please! With a few simple home improvements and some easy tweaks to your daily routine, you can have both – all while reducing your impact on the environment.

Check out these ways to save energy (and money) around the house:

1. Take Control of the Temperature With a Programmable Thermostat

Did you know you can save up to 10 percent on heating and cooling costs by investing in a programmable thermostat? Plus, you may be able to get a cash rebate when you buy one. These devices automatically lower your home’s temperature in the winter and raise it in the summer, but still to your liking. You can also schedule a lower temperature for night time, so you don’t forget. You’ll save energy without even realizing it, and your new thermostat will pretty much pay for itself over time.

Live in an apartment? Your ceiling fan is going to be your best friend in the summer. Plus, curtains can help keep your space cool by blocking the sun’s hot rays – cute and cost-efficient!

2. Wash Wisely and Lower Your Water Heater Temperature by 10 Degrees

The water we use to shower, wash dishes and do laundry can add up fast. The good news is that saving is actually pretty easy – just lower the temperature of your water heater from the typical 140 degrees to 130 degrees, and you could save 3 to 5 percent on energy costs. Let your appliances do some of the work for you (you work hard enough as it is!) and consider installing low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators that reduce your water use. Once again, your investment will pay for itself and saving energy in your home will prove blissfully simple. Beyond these simple home improvements, there are a few things we should all be doing to save more energy like only washing full loads of laundry and dishes, and air drying whenever possible. Plus, air drying your clothes can actually help them last longer, so that’s even more money savings!  

3. Unplug and Power Down Common Household Appliances and Devices

It’s hard to believe, but many household devices – from TVs and DVD players to microwaves and coffee makers – consume energy even when they aren’t being used. It’s a phenomenon known as standby power, and it can account for around 10 percent of your energy bill. Yikes! The remedy? Unplug these devices when you aren’t using them or use a power strip to turn off power to multiple devices with a single switch. You can even set reminders on your phone if you need an extra nudge. Another energy waster? Charging your cell phone at night (we all do it!). The truth is, it only takes a few hours to reach maximum charge, but it still uses energy the entire time. Do yourself a favor and charge while you’re cooking dinner or catching up on a show. Then, go to bed without your phone – you’ll sleep better, use less energy AND save money. Win-win-win!

With these simple tips, you’ll know how to use less energy at home, which can save you more money moving forward. Want to read up on more ways to live sustainably and save money? Check out our tips and tricks for budget friendly ways to reduce waste and help the environment.