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What is energy conservation?

At its core, energy conservation is the practice of using less energy in order khổng lồ lower costs and reduce environmental impact. This can mean using less electricity, gas, or any other form of energy that you get from your utility & pay for. With finite energy resources available on our planet, actively conserving energy when possible is beneficial individually và to our larger energy systems. There are many simple ways that you can save energy & save money at home.

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Energy conservation vs. Energy efficiency

While energy conservation is the practice of trying to lớn use less energy for cost & environmental reasons, energy efficiency means using specific products designed to lớn use less energy. These two concepts are inherently similar but involve different methods. Examples of energy conservation include using smart appliances và energy-saving bulbs in your home.

15 ways khổng lồ conserve energy và electricity at home

Here are 15 ways khổng lồ start conserving energy:

Adjust your day-to-day behaviorsReplace your light bulbsUse smart nguồn stripsInstall a programmable thermostatUse energy efficient appliancesReduce water heating expensesInstall energy efficient windowsUpgrade your HVAC systemWeatherize your homeInsulate your homeWash your clothes in cold waterReplace your air filtersUse your microwave instead of your stoveUse natural lightDress appropriately for the weather inside và outside

Below, we"ll explore each of these options for energy conservation in detail.

To reduce energy consumption in your home and increase your energy savings, you do not necessarily need lớn go out và purchase energy efficient products. Energy conservation can be as simple as turning off lights or appliances when you bởi vì not need them. You can also use energy-intensive appliances less by performing household tasks manually, such as hang-drying your clothes instead of putting them in the dryer, or washing dishes by hand.

The behavior adjustments that have the highest potential for utility savings are turning down the heat on your thermostat in the winter and using your air conditioner less in the summer. Heating and cooling costs constitute nearly half of an average home’s utility bills, so these reductions in the intensity và frequency of heating và cooling offer the greatest savings.

There are tools you can use to lớn figure out where most of your electricity is going in your trang chủ and which appliances are using the most electricity on a day-to-day basis.


Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume an excessive amount of electricity and must be replaced more often than their energy efficient alternatives. Halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), và light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) use anywhere from 25-80 percent less electricity và last 3 to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.

Although energy efficient bulbs are more expensive off the shelf, their efficient energy use & longer lifetimes mean that they cost less in the long run.


“Phantom loads,” or the electricity used by electronics when they are turned off or in standby mode, are a major source of energy waste. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of the energy used lớn power household electronics is consumed when they are switched off, which can cost you up khổng lồ $200 per year. Smart nguồn strips, also known as advanced power strips, eliminate the problem of phantom loads by shutting off the power lớn electronics when they are not in use. Smart power nguồn strips can be set khổng lồ turn off at an assigned time, during a period of inactivity, through remote switches, or based on the status of a “master” device.


A programmable thermostat can be set khổng lồ automatically turn off or reduce heating và cooling during the times when you are asleep or away. When you install a programmable thermostat, you eliminate wasteful energy use from heating và cooling without upgrading your HVAC system.

On average, a programmable thermostat can save you $180 per year. Programmable thermostats come in different models that can be set to fit your weekly schedule. Additional features of programmable thermostats can include indicators for when to lớn replace air filters or HVAC system problems, which also improve the efficiency of your heating và cooling system.

On average, appliances are responsible for roughly 13% of total household energy use. When purchasing an appliance, you should pay attention to two numbers: the initial purchase price và the annual operating cost. Although energy efficient appliances might have higher upfront purchase prices, their operating costs are often 9-25% lower than conventional models.

When purchasing an energy efficient appliance, you should look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which is a federal guarantee that the appliance will consume less energy during use & when on standby than standard models. Energy savings differ based on the specific appliance. For example, ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers consume 25% less energy và 45% less water than conventional ones, whereas ENERGY STAR refrigerators use only 9% less energy.

Water heating is a major contributor lớn your total energy consumption. Other than purchasing an energy efficient water heater, there are three methods of reducing your water heating expenses: you can simply use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, or insulate your water heater and the first six feet of hot and cold water pipes.

If you are considering replacing your water heater with an efficient model, you should keep in mind two factors: the type of water heater that meets your needs and the type of fuel it will use. For example, tankless water heaters are energy efficient, but they are also a poor choice for large families as they cannot handle multiple and simultaneous uses of hot water. Efficient water heaters can be anywhere between 8% & 300% more energy efficient than a conventional storage water heater.

Windows are significant source of energy waste - they can địa chỉ up lớn 10-25% of your total heating bill. To lớn prevent heat loss through your windows, you can replace single-pane windows with double-pane products instead.

For homes in colder regions, gas-filled windows with “low-e” coatings can significantly reduce your heating expenses. In addition, interior or exterior storm windows can reduce unnecessary heat loss by 10 to 20 percent. You should especially consider storm windows if your region experiences frequent extreme weather events.

In warmer climates, heat gain through windows may be a problem. In addition khổng lồ minimizing heat loss, low-e coatings on windows can reduce heat gain by reflecting more light & lowering the amount of thermal energy that enters your home. Depending on where you live, ENERGY STAR windows can save you $20-$95 each year on your utility bills. Window shades, shutters, screens, và awnings can also provide an extra layer of insulation between your home and outside temperatures, leading to lớn even more energy conservation.

An HVAC system is composed of heating, ventilation, và air conditioning equipment. Heating alone is responsible for more than 40% of trang chủ energy use. Because homes in Northern regions are exposed khổng lồ much colder temperatures during the year, ENERGY STAR gas furnaces have different specifications in the northern và southern halves of the United States.

Upgrading to a “U.S. South” ENERGY STAR certification can save you up khổng lồ 12% on your heating bill, or an average of $36 per year. ENERGY STAR furnaces in the northern half of the U.S. Are labeled with the standard ENERGY STAR logo và are up to lớn 16% more energy efficient than baseline models. This translates khổng lồ average savings of $94 per year on your heating bill in the Northern U.S.

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Air conditioning, by comparison, isn’t a significant contributor to energy bills – on average, it only makes up six percent of the total energy use of your home. ENERGY STAR central air conditioning units are eight percent more efficient than conventional models. Air conditioning systems are usually integrated with heating systems, which means that you should purchase your new furnace & air conditioner at the same time in order to lớn ensure that the air conditioner performs at its maximum rated energy efficiency.

Upgrades khổng lồ the third component of an HVAC system – ventilation – can also improve your energy efficiency. A ventilation system is composed of a network of ducts, which distributes hot & cold air throughout your home. If these ducts are not properly sealed or insulated, the resulting energy waste can showroom hundreds of dollars lớn your annual heating và cooling expenses. Proper insulation và maintenance on your ventilation system can reduce your heating & cooling expenses by up to 20 percent.

The most energy efficient way khổng lồ upgrade your home’s HVAC system is installing air source heat pumps. In order lớn heat và cool your home, a heat pump transfers heat from one place lớn another. As a result, air source heat pumps use energy much more efficiently than other technologies and can help with both heating and cooling. In many cases, they offer a smart trang chủ energy system nâng cấp that’s cost and energy efficient.

Weatherizing, or sealing air leaks around your home, is a great way to lớn reduce your heating và cooling expenses. The most common sources of air leaks into your trang chủ are vents, windows, and doors. To lớn prevent these leaks, you should ensure that there are no cracks or openings between the wall and vent, window, or doorframe.

To seal air leaks between stationary objects, such as the wall and window frame, you can apply caulk. For cracks between moving objects, such as operable windows và doors, you can apply weather stripping. Weather stripping and caulking are simple air sealing techniques that typically offer a return on investment in less than a year. Air leaks can also occur through openings in the wall, floor, and ceiling from plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring.

Air leaking out of your trang chủ is most often from the trang chủ interior into your attic through small openings. Whether it is through ducts, light fixtures, or the attic hatch, hot air will rise và escape through small openings. As the natural flow of heat is from warmer to cooler areas, these small openings can make your heating bill even higher if your attic is not sufficiently insulated. Khổng lồ reap the full amount of savings from weatherization, you should consider fully insulating your home.

Insulation plays a key role in lowering your utility bills through retaining heat during the winter & keeping heat out of your home during the summer. The recommended màn chơi of heat resistance, or “R-value,” for your insulation depends on where you live. In warmer climates, the recommended R-value is much lower than for buildings located in colder regions like the Northeast.

The màn chơi of insulation you should install depends on the area of your house. Your attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawlspace are the five main areas where you should consider adding insulation. Use the home Energy Saver tool for recommendations based on the specifications of your home, or find general regional recommendations on the Department of Energy’s webpage on insulation.

Washing clothes is a necessary chore và part of the weekly routine of most Americans. It is also an energy-intensive one, especially if you use warm water. In fact, the majority of energy used during the clothes washing process goes towards warming water. There are many possible economic benefits to using cold water as well, with consumers potentially able lớn save more than $50 a year by reducing the temperature of their washing water by 15 degrees. There are even reports that washing in cold water can increase the lifespan of your clothes without damaging heat.

Many devices across your home use filters, including your HVAC system. These systems often come with displayed reminders khổng lồ replace filters regularly. Doing so will not only help you avoid having lớn make costly repairs khổng lồ your air conditioning but could also save money. In fact, The Department of Energy released a report saying that replacing dirty filters regularly can reduce household energy consumption up to lớn 15%. This is because clean filters are more efficient và put less strain on your system.

Along with other household chores, reheating food is a necessary & also energy-taxing process. Depending on your preference, a stove may preserve the flavor of food a little better. Independent of taste, however, there is evidence to lớn suggest that a microwave is more energy efficient. The nature of a stove makes it prone lớn losing energy. A microwave, while using a lot of electricity, uses relatively short bursts of nguồn for small amounts of time.

Lighting accounts for a significant amount of energy costs và using light from the sun is an intuitive way to lớn reduce your energy consumption. If you can, it is better khổng lồ have north và south-facing windows instead of east & west. This allows for more glancing light that produces heat và limits harsh light in the winter. While east & west-facing windows allow for more direct sunlight, they aren"t as effective at letting heat in.

While it may seem obvious to bundle up outside when it gets cold in the winter, doing so inside can also help save on your heating costs. If you are staying warm by wearing more clothes indoors, your heating system does not have to work as hard. This allows you to save money and use less energy.

How to save energy at home during the winter

Adjust your behavior to turn down the heat during the winterInstall a programmable thermostat to lớn eliminate wasteful heatingReduce the energy you use heating waterInstall windows that keep heat in.Upgrade your HVAC system to meet proper ENERGY STAR certificationsWeatherize and properly insulate your home to reduce wasteful heatingDress warmly inside of your home to reduce heating costs

How lớn save energy at trang chủ during the summer

Adjust your behavior khổng lồ use air conditioning lessInstall a programmable thermostat that will cool your trang chủ properlyInstall windows to lớn retain conditioned airInsulate your home properly to not let cooler air escapeReplace your air filters regularly to lớn reduce energy consumption in warmer months.

Why conserve energy in the first place?

Energy conservation is important và beneficial for many reasons. You can save money, increase your property value, và protect the environment all through simple energy-saving measures. These are great benefits you can gain from saving energy no matter your exact motivation for conservation in the first place. By simply taking a small step towards living a more energy-conscious lifestyle, you can begin to enjoy all of the perks of being energy efficient.

Read more about the many benefits of energy efficiency and energy conservation.

Energy efficient products for your home

There are many different products you can purchase lớn improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your overall energy consumption. Below are some examples available from

Solar panelsSolar panels can help you use available energy from the sun to lớn power your home. Panels today are more than đôi mươi percent% efficient, making them one of the best ways khổng lồ save money on energy.Solar batteriesYou can install solar batteries when you install solar panels, allowing you to lớn store the extra solar energy your panels generate when the sun goes down as well as other benefits lượt thích increased energy savings.Heat pumpsAn alternative to lớn traditional HVAC, air source heat pumps are a type of heating and cooling system that moves heat inside during the winter and outside during the summer.

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Frequently asked questions

What wastes the most electricity in the average household?An HVAC system uses the most energy of any appliance in the home. Heating alone is responsible for more than 40% of home energy use.What is the average electric bill for a house và apartment?The average electric bill for a 1 bedroom in the US is between $50-$100. This can vary based on kích thước and electricity use.Does unplugging things save money?Unplugging unused devices around your home can be an easy way khổng lồ save 5-10% on your electricity billHow can I save energy while at work?Installing a smart thermometer, insulating your home and upgrading your HVAC system are all ways khổng lồ save energy while you’re at work.Which month has the highest energy consumption?Electricity usage is typically highest during the summer months when homes & offices use air conditioning to stay cool.