Quick Savings for Homes

An average home spends $100 a year on devices that are off, but still using power. (Hint: Flip the switch off.)
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More Tips for Homes

    • Save up to 16% by turning up your AC 1-2° — save even more when you use a programmable thermostat.
      • Every degree above 78 can save you up to 8% on your energy bill.
      • Setting your AC to a very low temperature does not make your house cool down faster. It just wastes energy.
      • Set or program your AC 5° warmer when you’re gone for more than 4 hours.
      • Aim for 1-2° warmer than your final evening temperature.
      • Set the AC to cool down after 7 p.m.
    • Use fans. They make a room feel 4-6° cooler.
    • Keep out the sun and hot air.
      • Make sure windows and doors are closed tightly.
      • Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight.
      • Shade your outside AC units or condensers.
    • Limit your use of the vent fans above your stove and in your bathroom. They pull in hot outside air, making your AC work harder.
    • Turn down your heat 1-2° or as low as is comfortable — save even more when you use a programmable thermostat.
      • Setting your heat to a very high temperature does not make your house heat up faster. It just wastes energy.
      • Set or program your heat to 55° when you’re gone for more than 4 hours.
      • When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours can save you up to 10% on your heating bills.
    • Keep out the cool air and let in the sun.
      • Make sure windows and doors are closed tightly.
      • Open blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight during the day to naturally heat your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill.
      • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping it open is like keeping a window open during the winter; warm air goes right up the chimney.
      • If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
      • If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room. Lower your thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
    • Save up to 5% by turning your electric water heater down 10°.
    • Keep your fridge and freezer full, even if you just use bottles of water. A full fridge uses less energy.
    • If you purchase a new, more energy-efficient refrigerator, don’t store your old refrigerator in the garage or other non-air conditioned spaces. This can damage your refrigerator and makes it work much harder, costing you more money.
    • Save money by letting the Texas heat dry your clothes.
      • Use a clothesline or drying rack instead of the dryer.
      • If your clothes dry a little stiff, use your dryer’s “fluff” cycle (before 3 or after 7 p.m.).
    • Run washers, dryers, and dishwashers only when fully loaded.
    • Wash your laundry with cold water.
    • Don’t overfill your dryer.
      • Dry your laundry loads back-to-back and clean the lint filter between loads. This way, your dryer is still hot from the previous load, and you save energy.
    • Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher. The heat-dry setting uses more energy. It also heats up your home, which means more AC.
    • Turn off lights, and unplug TVs and other equipment when you leave a room. Use power strips to make this easy.
    • Appliances account for roughly 20% of the average single family home's energy usage.
      • All electrical devices use some power when they’re turned off but still plugged in. They also generate heat. Unplugging just 6 devices that you normally leave plugged in can save up to $40 a year.
      • Turn off and unplug lights, appliances, and cable boxes when not in use.
      • Unplug your phone charger and similar devices when charging is complete.
    • Watch out for video game consoles. They can be energy hogs!
      • Don’t watch DVDs on your video game console. It uses 5 times more power than a regular DVD player.
    • Replace traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). These new bulbs use 75% less electricity. They also produce 90% less heat. They pay for themselves and can save you up to $30 per bulb over the life of the bulb.
    • Using a small light when reading is more efficient than brightly lighting an entire room.
    • Keep your light bulbs clean and free from dust.
    • Use LED holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.