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10 Resources to Help You Save Energy Now

June 9, 2009 - 5:00am

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A lot of the feedback that I see about Energy Savers says, "This is great, but way too detailed. I just want to know what's easy and what I can do now!" And that makes sense; Energy Savers has a lot of information about a lot of topics—you can learn about buying efficient appliances, choosing new heating and cooling systems, selecting windows, and even how to use renewable energy.

But not everyone wants to make a big purchase right now; many of you want to know how you can save with what you have or with just a small investment in time and money. These 10 resources detail easy ways that you can start saving now:

  1. When to Turn Off Your Lights
    Find out when it's most cost-effective to turn off your lights—and when to leave them on.
  2. When to Turn Off Personal Computers
    Operate your computer and peripherals—such as monitors, printers, and other accessories—efficiently. Also check out these tips for home office and home electronics.
  3. Use and Heat Your Water Efficiently
    There are a variety of tips here—some more costly than others—but others are quick and easy, like reducing your hot water use and turning down the temperature of your water heater.
  4. Operate Your Thermostat Efficiently
    Pay attention to your thermostat settings and reduce your cooling costs (and heating costs in the winter). A programmable thermostat makes it easy.
  5. Improve the Efficiency of Your Windows
    Some simple caulk and weatherstripping can help you reduce air leakage around your windows, and window coverings can help keep your home cool in the summer (and warm in the winter).
  6. Avoid Heat Buildup
    Follow some simple strategies to reduce the heat buildup in your house on hot days, such as using window shades, avoiding oven use, and using spot ventilation when bathing.
  7. Replace Lamps in Incandescent Lighting Fixtures
    Consider replacing your incandescent bulbs with more efficient lamps, such as compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).
  8. Use Ceiling Fans and Circulating Fans
    A fan can keep you feeling comfortable in hot weather without blasting the air conditioner.
  9. Drive Efficiently and Maintain your Car
    You've probably heard most of these tips before, but it bears repeating: less aggressive driving and slower speeds lead to savings. Not to mention fewer accidents and a less stressful commute for everyone.
  10. Tips for Doing Laundry Efficiently
    Using cooler water and air-drying your clothes are just two ways you can save energy while doing your laundry.

These pages cover some very specific, easy ways that you can save energy without a huge investment. If you love tips and are looking for more, also check out the Energy Savers Booklet and the list of no-cost and low-cost tips to save energy this summer, from the Stay Cool, Save Money site.

Finally, remember that the best place to start is with a home energy audit. Whether you do-it-yourself or hire a professional, an energy audit can help you assess your home's energy use and figure out how to improve your home's efficiency to maximize your savings.

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