Help save the environment and—bonus!— reduce your household’s heating and cooling bills with these simple tips. Children can help with some of these, too, so be sure to include them in your quest for home energy efficiency.
- Switch from standard incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents (you’ll use 75% less energy).
- Always turn off lights and electronics when leaving a room. Some electronics, like cable boxes and DVD players, use energy even when they are turned off. Plug these items into power strips to completely shut off the flow of electricity.
- Make sure the doors to your home, windows and appliances like the refrigerator and oven are always closed tightly when using heating and cooling systems to ensure the systems work as efficiently as possible.
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature when you’re home, when you leave and when you go to sleep at night. Setting your thermostat below 68°F in the cooler months will help cut heating costs.
- If you’re in the market for a new appliance, look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels. These labels will help guide you toward energy-efficient products as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.