Could These Habits Be Wasting Energy in Your Home?

9 ways to build energy efficiency habits around the house
Jul 29, 2022 9:25 AM ET
Blog

By Laurinda Schenck 

Building energy-efficient habits starts with breaking some of the bad ones. Here are tips on how to break some common energy-wasting habits to help set you on the path to potential energy (and money) savings.

Standing in front of an open fridge

We open our refrigerators an average of 33 times per day, according to ENERGY STAR. So limiting your time browsing the fridge will help save energy by preventing it from draining more power to maintain the cold temperature setting.

Leaving electronics plugged in when not in use

Leaving unused electronics like phone chargers and laptops plugged in wastes small amounts of energy that can add up. Make a habit of not only turning off but also unplugging devices not in use to avoid phantom energy waste.

Forgetting to change air filters

Like any appliance, an HVAC system works best when it’s clean and well-maintained. Establish the habit of changing your home’s air filters at least once every three months to reduce the strain on your HVAC system, saving energy.

Not programming your programmable thermostat

Around 50% of the energy used by your home focuses on heating and cooling. The habit of leaving the air conditioning or the heating on all day is one that can have a major effect on your energy bill. The best way to save money on energy consumption is through a programmable thermostat, making it easy to set a schedule that works for you. Set it to go up a few degrees when you leave in the morning and to return to your preferred temperature just before you come home.

Running dishwasher half-full

To make sure you are using your dishwasher efficiently, aim to run full loads and use the energy-saving settings.

Not sealing air leaks

One of the quickest energy-saving habits you can do each year is to check your windows, doors and vents for air leaks. Caulking, sealing and weatherstripping these leaks can save 10% to 20% on your heating and cooling bills.

Falling asleep with the TV on

A classic scenario: cozy on the couch and can’t seem to find the energy to go to bed, leading to you falling asleep with the TV broadcasting to no one. This could be costing you energy and money, especially if it becomes a nightly ritual. Make sure you have an  energy-efficient TV to help reduce the energy loss.

Washing clothes in hot water 

About 90% of the energy used by the washing machine during laundry goes toward heating the water. Washing laundry in cold water saves energy while being gentler on your clothes and protecting them from fading or shrinking.

Leaving lights and fans on in empty rooms

Wasting energy by leaving lights and fans on in an empty room is a common habit but can be an easy one to break. If you need help remembering to turn them on and off, try using timers and motion sensors. 

More tips

Explore no-cost and low-cost tips to help you use less energy. Click here for more ways to be more energy efficient.

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