Looking to use less energy and live more sustainably? Maybe your energy lifestyle needs a reset. From simple behavioral changes to home improvement upgrades, these measures will help you on your journey to a more energy-efficient way of life.
Start simple by using less
Minor changes to your daily routine can make a big difference on your monthly energy bills.
- Take shorter showers. A standard showerhead uses 2.5 gallons-per-minute, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. So, a 10-minute shower can use 25 gallons of water plus the energy used to heat that water.
- Adjust the thermostat to save energy when everyone is sleeping, or no one is home.
- Turn off lights when you are the last one to leave a room.
- Plug electronic devices into advanced power strips or smart plugs. These affordable devices automatically cut power to unused devices.
- Wait until you have a full load before running the dishwasher or laundry appliances.
- When cooking on the stovetop, match the size of the pot or pan to the burner to avoid wasting energy. Use a lid for even more savings.
Make energy savings a project
You don't have to be handy to make your home more energy-efficient; it can be as simple as changing a lightbulb or a furnace filter. Switch out conventional bulbs for LEDs, which use up to 75% less energy and last longer, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Dirty air filters make your HVAC system work harder and less efficiently. Change the filter regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions.
If you're willing to put in a little more time and effort, plenty of simple, low-cost projects can make your home more efficient and comfortable. See DIY Energy-Savings Projects from the U.S. Department of Energy for more information.
Take an ENERGY STAR® turn
Appliances, water heating and HVAC make up most of the energy use in your home. If you have appliances or equipment that are older or in need of repair, upgrade to an ENERGY STAR®-certified unit. ENERGY STAR products are independently tested to use less energy than standard models while still providing the performance you expect.
Get smart and make saving easy
Smart home technology makes saving energy easier and more convenient. It doesn't necessarily require a big investment. Smart bulbs and smart outlets are affordable upgrades. With smart bulbs, you can turn off, dim or change color tones using your smartphone or voice assistant. Smart outlets automatically cut power to plugged-in devices when not in use.
Advanced smart thermostats require a slightly higher investment, but they can more than pay for themselves by automatically adjusting home temperatures to save energy according to your schedule. Smart appliances typically cost more than standard models, but they make it easy to save energy, time and effort on daily routines, such as cooking and laundry.