Energy and Water Saving Tips
Saving energy and water at home is easy. There are a number of ways to save energy and water, and they all start with you. Below are time-tested tips and energy-saving choices for reducing your home energy consumption:
- Switch your ceiling fan to turn in a counter-clockwise direction in the summer; in the winter, run it at low speed, but clockwise.
- Close your exterior doors and windows tightly when the AC is on. Save even more by turning off kitchen and bath exhaust fans.
- Change or clean your AC's air filters at least once a month to keep your system running at peak performance.
- Replace standard bulbs with LED's. LED light bulbs are more energy-efficient than regular bulbs, while giving off the same amount of light.
- Use the right bulb. Make sure you’re using the appropriate LED bulb for your light fixture – they come in various sizes and types for different lighting needs.
- Use microwaves and toaster ovens to cook or warm leftovers. You’ll use less energy than cooking with a conventional oven.
- Always wash with cold water, laundry detergent works just as well, and you’ll save 40 cents per load.
- Check your hot water pipes for leaks, which can drain your energy savings.
- Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads – available at home improvement stores – to reduce your hot water use.
- Turn off your water heater if you plan on leaving home for a few days, until you get back. Most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour.
- Plug electronics into a power strip, then turn the strip off when not in use to save in energy costs.
- Avoid energy vampires. Even when they’re turned off, home electronics in “standby” mode use energy to power features like clock displays.
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand. Now, Energy Star dishwashers save even more water and energy.
- If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
- Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
- Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time.
- Don’t use running water to thaw food. For water efficiency and food safety, defrost food in the refrigerator.
- When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
- Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy, and helps your clothes retain their color.
- If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a WaterSense® labeled model.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
- Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You’ll save up to 1,000 gallons per month.
- Toilet leaks can be silent! Be sure to test your toilet for leaks at least once a year.
- Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak. Fix it and start saving gallons.