26+ Best Ways to Save Energy at Home

With energy costs rising, it is more important than ever to find ways to save energy in our homes. There are many simple things we can do to reduce our energy consumption that will also help the environment.

First, setting your thermostat a few degrees lower in winter and higher in summer can make a big difference in heating and cooling costs. Just adjusting the temperature by a couple degrees when you are away or asleep can help lower your bill. Also, insulating your home properly and sealing any air leaks around windows and doors will help keep heated or cooled air inside.

Replacing old appliances and electronics with ENERGY STAR models uses less electricity. Switching to energy efficient LED light bulbs is another easy way to cut energy use, as is turning off lights and electronics when not in use. Doing full loads of laundry and dishes and using cold water settings saves on electricity too.

Lastly, unplugging devices and chargers when not in use reduces phantom load. Simple habits like opening curtains to let sunlight in during the day and changing HVAC filters regularly also promote energy efficiency at home. With some easy behavioral and efficiency upgrades, we can all contribute to saving energy.


There are many simple yet impactful steps we can take to reduce energy waste in our homes. By making upgrades to lighting, appliances, and heating/cooling systems, as well as following energy-efficient practices for daily routines, homeowners can realize significant long-term savings on utility bills while also minimizing their carbon footprint.


With utility rates rising across many parts of the United States, homeowners are looking for ways to reduce energy consumption in their households. Cutting back on energy use not only helps lower monthly bills, but also decreases our impact on the environment. There are many simple yet highly effective steps we can implement in our daily routines and practices to conserve energy at home. In this article, we will explore over 26 great tips you can follow to save energy in lighting, appliances, heating/cooling, and more. Implementing even a few of these suggestions can lead to noticeable savings over time.

Section 1: Lighting

Lighting accounts for roughly 12% of home energy bills in the U.S. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to reduce the energy consumed by lighting in your household.

Switch to LED Light Bulbs

One of the biggest impacts you can make is to replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. They have become more affordable in recent years. Switching the bulbs in high-use fixtures first can lead to the biggest savings.

Use Natural Light Whenever Possible

Open blinds and curtains during the day to maximize natural sunlight. Turn off or dim artificial lights to take advantage of free daylight. Installing skylights is another way to harness natural light.

Install Dimmer Switches and Timers

Dimmer switches allow you to lower light levels, using less energy. Timers can turn lights on/off automatically at set times. Use them for exterior lighting or lights in rarely used spaces.

Follow Outdoor Lighting Best Practices

Use motion sensor lights outside only where needed for security. Choose the right wattage bulb for the job. Use timers and switch lights off when not needed.

Section 2: Appliances

After lighting, appliances account for the next biggest share of residential energy use. Upgrading to more efficient models makes a big impact.

Choose ENERGY STAR Certified Appliances

When buying new appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. EPA. This includes refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, dryers, and more.

Wash Clothes in Cold Water

Heating water comprises about 90% of the energy used to wash clothes. Washing in cold water saves significant energy while still cleaning effectively. Only wash full loads.

Maintain Refrigerators and Freezers

Keep refrigerators set to 37-40°F and freezers at 0-5°F. Regularly dust coils and clean door seals to optimize efficiency. Replace old models, as new ones use 30-50% less energy.

Adjust Water Heater Temperature

Turn down the water heater to 120°F. This provides comfortable hot water for most uses while reducing heating costs. Insulate pipes for added savings.

Section 3: Seasonal Energy-Saving Tips

Adjusting energy practices based on the time of year can also lead to savings. Here are tips for conserving energy in summer and winter.

Adjust Thermostat Set Points

In summer, set the thermostat to 78°F while you’re home and higher when away. In winter, 68°F when home and lower when gone provides comfort and savings.

Use Energy-Efficient Curtains

Open curtains in winter to let sunlight heat your home naturally. Close them at night for insulation. In summer, close them during the day to keep heat out.

Check Heating and Cooling Systems Yearly

Schedule annual maintenance for heating and cooling systems to keep them operating efficiently. Replace filters per manufacturer recommendations.

Weatherstrip and Caulk

Seal any air leaks around windows and doors to prevent drafts, especially before winter and summer. Add weatherstripping and caulk as needed.

Section 4: Other Energy-Saving Practices

In addition to the major uses above, there are other ways to promote efficiency in your daily home routines.

Unplug Electronics and Chargers When Not in Use

Electronics and chargers draw power even when turned off. Unplug them when not needed to eliminate “phantom” energy drain. This is especially important for older TVs and game consoles.

Use Advanced Power Strips

These power strips shut off power to secondary electronics when a control device like a TV is switched off. They help eliminate standby power consumption.

Run Full Loads

Wait to run dishwashers and washing machines until they are fully loaded. This maximizes their energy efficiency.

Air Dry Dishes

Skip the heated drying cycle and air dry dishes instead. This method takes a bit longer but uses no electricity.

Monitor Energy Usage

Use a home energy monitor to identify when and where you use the most energy. Understanding your usage patterns helps target the best areas for savings.

Section 5: Long-Term Benefits

Implementing energy conservation measures at home provides a number of advantages beyond immediate cost savings on monthly bills.

Financial Savings Add Up

The energy and money saved from efficiency improvements can really add up over months and years. These long-term savings help recoup any initial costs.

Support Environmental Sustainability

Using less energy reduces fossil fuel dependence and carbon emissions tied to climate change. Efficiency supports wider environmental sustainability efforts.

Enhanced Health and Comfort

Sealing air leaks and adding insulation helps regulate indoor temperatures and drafts. This supports home comfort and occupant health.

Section 6: Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling systems are typically the largest energy expense in a home. Optimizing these systems provides major energy savings.

Upgrade Insulation

Adding insulation to attics, basements and walls prevents heat transfer and improves efficiency. Recommended levels depend on your climate zone.

Schedule a Professional HVAC Tune-Up

Have HVAC systems inspected yearly to ensure they are operating at peak performance and safety. Tune-ups improve efficiency.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts home temperatures based on your schedule. Set it to lower heating and raise cooling when you’re away.

Check Ductwork for Leaks

Leaky ducts can waste a lot of conditioned air, impacting HVAC efficiency. Seal any duct leaks with mastic paste or metal tape.

Change HVAC Filters Monthly

Dirty filters put strain on HVAC systems and reduce airflow. Be diligent about changing filters per manufacturer directions.

Section 7: Water Heating

Water heating accounts for about 18% of home energy bills. There are several ways to optimize this major energy user.

Insulate Water Heater Tanks

Ensure tanks have proper insulation blankets or jackets. This reduces standby heat loss through the tank surface.

Install Heat Traps

Heat traps prevent heat loss from the hot water line. Have a plumber install them on pipes connected to the tank.

Use Low-Flow Fixtures

Replacing showerheads, faucets and toilets with low-flow models decreases hot water usage and energy needs.

Take Shorter Showers

Reducing shower length from 10 minutes to 5 minutes cuts hot water usage in half. Take Navy showers (wet, turn off water, lather, rinse).

Fix Leaky Faucets

Even small leaks waste large volumes of hot water over time. Fixing leaks right away preserves energy.

Section 8: Whole House Efficiency

In addition to specific systems, you can improve your home’s overall efficiency through some upgrades.

Seal Air Leaks

Sealing gaps and cracks prevents drafts and heated/cooled air loss. Use caulk, weatherstripping and insulation around windows, doors, etc.

Add Storm Windows

Storm windows create an insulating air pocket, reducing heat transfer through existing windows. DIY temporary plastic film also works.

Upgrade Windows

Replacing old windows with new double- or triple-pane models improves insulation. Look for ENERGY STAR rated windows.

Insulate Attic Access Panels

Ensure attic hatches and drop-down stairs are properly weatherstripped and insulated. These are often overlooked heat loss points.

Insulate Basements and Crawlspaces

Adding insulation to basement walls and crawlspace surfaces prevents conditioned air from escaping through the ground.


There are many easy yet highly effective ways to reduce your home’s energy usage, from simple habit changes to appliance upgrades. Following even a handful of the 26+ tips outlined here can put homeowners on the path towards lower utility bills, enhanced comfort, and environmental responsibility. Begin implementing these suggestions today to save energy and money over both the short- and long-term. With some dedication to energy efficiency, your household can run smoothly while reducing waste.

Roger Angulo
Roger Angulo
Roger Angulo, the owner of thisolderhouse.com, curates a blog dedicated to sharing informative articles on home improvement. With a focus on practical insights, Roger's platform is a valuable resource for those seeking tips and guidance to enhance their living spaces.