Here are 15 easy things you can do to conserve energy and save money.
1. Use fluorescent lighting. When your incandescent light bulb burns out, replace it with a compact fluorescent bulb. Not only do CFLs last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, they save you up to $80 in energy costs over the lifetime of each bulb.
2. Insulate your hot water tank. Wrapping your heater in an R 5.0 insulating blanket can save you up to $40 per year in energy costs.
3. Insulate both your hot and cold water lines with closed-cell insulation to reduce heat loss, prevent freezing and control damage from condensation.
4. If you live in a warmer climate, paint your house a lighter color, both inside and out. Dark colors absorb light, thus require additional energy to achieve the same comfort level.
5. Use the off switch on your power strip or unplug your appliances. Seventy-five percent of the energy used by electronics in your home is consumed when they are “off.”
6. Turn the water off when you are brushing your teeth and make sure your children do the same.
7. Hang your clothes out to dry instead of using your gas or electric dryer.
8. Open your windows and turn off your furnace or air conditioner whenever temperatures outside are above 60 degrees or below 80 degrees.
9. Plant a tree. A single tree can shade your home from the sun enough to reduce the inside temperature by 8 to 10 degrees during the summer, saving up to 25 percent of your energy usage.
10. Landscape with native plants. Native plants require less water and create better wind blocks than most other plants.
11. Ride a bike or walk whenever possible. Your heart, your lungs and your pocketbook will thank you.
12. Install a programmable thermostat and use it to raise or lower the temperature by 10 degrees when you are not at home.
13. During the day, close the shades in the summer and open the shades in the winter.
14. Wash your clothes in cold water.
15. Set your refrigerator temperature to 38 degrees and your freezer to 5 degrees.