Use Energy Efficiently Energy-SMART! Home

Save Energy at Home

Here are some ways you can use energy more efficiently. Share the Family Connection tips with the adults in your home.

LightswitchTurn Off the Lights

Turn off lights when you are not using them.

  • Family Connection: Consider changing over to energy-efficient LED bulbs when you replace bulbs that burn out.

Power Down

Your computer, TV, VCR, CD or DVD player, and other small appliances use electrical energy, so be sure to turn them off when you are finished using them.

  • Family Connection: Many small appliances use energy even when they are switched off! Plug them into a power strip, and then switch the strip off when you're finished to reduce this energy waste.

Respect the Fridge

If you find yourself staring into an open fridge for a long time to figure out what to eat, you are wasting energy. Make your choice quickly!

  • Family Connection: Make a list of the snacks and drinks you have, or keep snacks in a special section of the fridge.

Shower curtainShorten Your Showers

It takes energy to heat water, so you can save energy and water by taking shorter showers or half-full baths.

  • Family Connection: Install energy-efficient showerheads to get the same-quality shower while using less hot water.

Be a Leak Detector

A leaky faucet wastes water, and a leaky hot water faucet wastes the energy used to heat the water as well! Tell an adult about any leaks you find.

  • Family Connection: Replace worn-out fixtures, washers, and hose connections to correct and prevent water leaks.

ThermostatTurn Down the Heat

Set your thermostat to the lowest temperature that still keeps you comfortable—some recommend 68°F by day and much lower at night.

  • Family Connection: Change filters regularly—they are usually located in the heating or cooling unit or in a register at the end of a duct.

Keep Your Cool

Keep your air conditioner's thermostat set at 76°F to 78°F to stay comfortable and use less energy.

  • Family Connection: Invest in a programmable thermostat to automatically control your home's cooling and heating cycles and save energy.

Use Your Windows

In winter, if windows face south, east, or west, open curtains when the sun shines through to heat your home for free. Close all window coverings at night to retain indoor heat. In summer, do the reverse: Close curtains during the day and open them at night to keep your home cooler.

  • Family Connection: When replacing windows, look for the most energy-efficient models you can afford.

Shut the Door

When the heat in your home is on, prevent heat from escaping by closing doors quickly when you enter or leave the house.

  • Family Connection: Make sure the fireplace damper is closed when the heating system is on so heat doesn't escape up the chimney.

Kid using clothes dryerWash Dishes Wisely

Wait until the dishwasher is full before turning it on.

  • Family Connection: Select the Air-Dry or No-Heat Dry setting. That way, dishes dry on their own without using electricity.

Wash Clothes Wisely

It takes energy to heat water for washing clothes, so make sure your clothes are really dirty before putting them into the hamper.

  • Family Connection: Remind everyone who does laundry to wash full loads and to use cold water whenever possible.

Dryer Details

Don't let the dryer keep running when clothes are already dry. Try a solar dryer—the clothesline!

  • Family Connection: Clean out the dryer lint filter before each load to improve airflow, save energy, and reduce fire risk.