Home Energy

10 Tips to Save Energy Dollars

At Home

Switch to LEDs: Replace your ‘old school’ incandescent light bulbs with new light emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) and save about $90 a year in electricity costs. You pay a little more up-front, but shop around, prices are dropping. They use between 70-90% less energy, last at least ten times longer and light like the old fashioned ones do. To match the soft, yellow-white light of your old bulbs, choose LEDs between 2700-3000 kelvin. Bulbs with a cooler or bluish light will be between 4000-6500 kelvin.

Check Your Water Heater Setting: Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120F. Water heaters are the second highest source of energy use in the home.

Make Sure Your Air Filters Are Clean: Check furnace, heat pump, and AC filters once a month and replace them regularly. A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and cause problems with your equipment.

Seal Leaks: Simple steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks around doors, chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors can save up to 20% on heating costs.

Use a Programmable Thermostat: Don’t waste money heating or cooling an empty home. Install a programmable thermostat and schedule your home’s heat to lower (or raise cooling temp) when you are away or asleep, and turn back up (or down) when you are returning home or waking-up.

Look for the Star: Look for products that have earned the ENERGY STAR® label. They meet strict energy efficiency criteria that will reduce your utility bills, and help the environment. ENERGY STAR® clothes washers, for example, use about 33% less water and 25% less energy than standard models.

For Your Car

Check Your Tire Pressure: Under-inflated tires reduce performance and require more gas. Keeping them properly inflated can improve your gas mileage. Check the label on your door or glove box to find out what the pressure should be.

No Need to Speed: Most cars’ fuel economy starts to dip after you reach 50-55 miles an hour, so avoid speeding. Accelerating rapidly and breaking frequently wastes gas, too. And don’t forget, needless idling gets you 0 MPGs.

Keep Your Car Tuned: Changing your oil and replacing the oil filter will improve fuel economy, and keeping your car tuned up will help you save even more at the pump.

Combine Trips: Combine your errands into a single outing so you can avoid making multiple round trips.

For more energy saving info, visit energystar.gov