According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a typical American family spends about $1,900 a year on home utility bills. But you can save energy - and money - with these tips to make your home more energy-efficient.
- Get a home energy survey from your local utility. Many will do a free analysis of your home and provide specific ways to save money on your utility bill.
- Replace old furnaces and air conditioners with newer ones that are more energy efficient.
- Install programmable thermostats.
- Swap light bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs bearing the Energy Star label.
- Air dry dishes.
- Turn off lights and ceiling fans when you leave a room.
- Turn off computers and TVs when they are not being used.
- Plug home electronic devices into power strips and turn them off when the equipment is not being used. These devices often have a "standby" mode that uses power even when they are off.
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120° F.
- Install a low-flow head on your shower. Opt for showers, not baths.
- Only run the washer or dishwasher with full loads.
- Purchase appliances that have the Energy Star label.
These tips can help you lower your energy use up to 25 percent, according to the DOE. That will not only save you money now, but reduced utility bills could also help you command a higher price for your home when you sell.