Save a Little
- Use your curtains. During cold months, leave them open during the day to allow sunlight in; in the summer, keep curtains shut in rooms where the sunlight hits.
- Install motion detectors on lights in kids’ rooms. The lights will never be left on by accident.
Save a Little More
- Insulate your hot-water heater. If it’s more than seven years old, wrap it in a precut jacket or blanket (available at hardware stores).
- Use a programmable thermostat. Set it to raise or lower the temperature setting automatically when you’re not home. Monthly
- Use electronics wisely. Unplug them when not in use; they draw power even if they’re off. And use a laptop on a hard, flat surface, rather than a soft, cushy one, such as a bed or a carpet. The latter can block airflow and lead to overheating.
- Clean your electric heating system or air conditioner’s filter and fan. It’s best to do this once a month, but even once a year will make a difference.
- Launder everything in cold. Ninety percent of the energy used by a top-loading washing machine is for heating water.
Save a Lot
- Use a low-flow showerhead. A low-flow head uses less than 2 1/2 gallons a minute, compared with a whopping seven gallons for old models, which means less water to heat.
- Enroll in a “cycling” program. Your utility company will use a radio signal to shut off your heating system or air-conditioning periodically during peak-usage times on weekdays―say, for 15 minutes over a three-hour period.