12 simple ways to save energy in your home


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While the amount of energy we individually consume has dropped slightly in recent years, thanks in part to improved technology and better habits, many of us are still feeling the pinch of high energy prices.

While we can’t do much about the cost of energy, there are still a lot of ways to stop wasting it. Here are 12 energy-smart suggestions as we head into warmer weather:

  1. Keep your house cooler by closing doors, windows and drapes on warm or hot days it can avoid the need to blast the air conditioning.
  2. Using a ceiling fan is another way to cool rooms and keep your AC on standby.
  3. Programmable thermostats like NEST and others automatically adjust to your family’s schedule so you don’t waste energy while you’re asleep or out of the house you can save 2% on your utility bill for every 1 degree Celsius you turn it down.
  4. Replace your air conditioner filter regularly ideally, once a month a dirty filter reduces airflow and makes your machine less efficient.
  5. Whether they’re light or dark, wash your clothes in cold water most of the energy older washing machines use is to heat the water (modern machines balance the hot and cold water flowing in) and only wash full loads.
  6. Replace your traditional incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs) the newer bulbs use up to 80% less energy and can last up to 25 times longer.
  7. Turn off your oven about 10 minutes before your meal is cooked the heat still inside the oven will continue to cook your meal.
  8. Only wash full loads in your dishwasher and choose the air-dry setting (if available).
  9. If you’re not using your computer, monitor, printer, TV, or lights, turn them off just turning off your lights can save 10-15% on your monthly utility bill.
  10. Your smartphone only needs an hour or two to recharge don’t leave it plugged in all night.
  11. Do a careful check on the inside and outside of your windows and doors and seal any cracks or leaks.
  12. If you haven’t already, install low-flow showerheads and faucets throughout your home.

What are your favourite and most effective ways to save energy throughout your home? Share your ideas with the Shop Talk Blog community forum!

 

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Did you know: Front beats top

Use a top-loading washing machine? Consider buying a front loading one it uses about 40% less water and 50% less energy. (Source)

78 thoughts on “12 simple ways to save energy in your home

  1. I am doing most of these already; I have installed LED lights into most fixtures, I turn off my computer, we don’t have a front loading washer or dryer owing to money issues, as in I have been out of work for seven years.

  2. When I was renting an older home, I would put energy efficient plastic on the Windows to seal out the cold. I would unplug my cell phone,toaster,hair blower as soon as I had used them. If it was a nice day, I would put my clothes on a clothesline instead of the dryer. It all adds up in the end. You really save money.

  3. We have a top load washer and it an energy saving low water machine. I had it since 2005. I had no problems I really like it! Your in formation is very good!

  4. Regarding energy saving tips. Putting (and leaving in) a large – absorbent towel in the dryer speeds up drying time by up to 1/3. It acts like a big sponge. Just leave it in the dryer and see how much faster all your clothes dry!!

  5. I did replace all of my light bulbs with CFL’s. What a waste of money. Made absolutely no difference to my energy bills. As for lasting 25 times longer, one of the bulbs lasted less than a minute and the rest don’t perform any better than the old bulbs. In fact the old bulbs are better in the winter as they do produce some heat in our cold climate.

  6. Reading this blog is very irritating considering the lack of punctuation and run-on sentences. The information is valuable and it is a shame to have such poor writing.

  7. I would NOT recommend a front loading washer to anyone…..they stink …. never ever had this problem in 47 years of marriage in the same home …yes I know about the things to do and the EXTRA stuff to buy but wheres the saving in time or cost when you have buy things , I am not the only one …do a survey and find out more .also the detergents are not much for the front loader .absolutely hate them

  8. I all ways turn the themast down to 63 f. at night in winter & 69 or 69 F in day in winter when at home when going away for mor than1 he it is tiuned down & in summer shut off ! We ure 1 floresent pr 13 watt light mostly when up & dark out& blinds Pulled over east window at night & when sun is on any window in day in time summer & over bedroom window all the time in winter East window blinds are up in day to let sun heat in in winter ! I all ways wash clothes in cold water & dishes mostly 1 time per day by hand ! But with our low income we still can not live propper !

  9. I had a front loader,energy star brand new. When I moved I BOUGHT A TOP loader. IT IS MORE EFFIENT.
    It is digital and adds the water for load size.
    I say poo to front loaders.

  10. What brand makes a washing machine that heats the water? I have never heard of this. I have had a washer/spin dryer in the early seventies, a kenmore in the med seventies and a Maytag stacked washer dryer in the mid ninties. All of them used hoses from the hot and cold water taps. Just curious.

  11. Get rid of smart meters would also help. The cost during day up to 4 is low, Then when people home and time to cook its up and then lower when its time for bed.
    Selling the surplus to the U.S. at a loss does not make sense. Paying the CEO millions per year also does not make sense.

  12. S voice from norman
    Environmental concerns have increased utility costs.
    I often wonder if the infrastructure required
    to address changes does not overshadow the savings
    the consumer has potential to enjoy.

    The first series of “energy efficient” light bulbs were a fraud.
    The cost of disposal and short life far ourweighed any
    potential advantage. Light emmitting diodes do have advantages.
    I AM TESTING two to see if they last till the year 2020
    Relative to the stated hours on the plastic they were wrapped in.

    How much resourses will be used repairing ” energy efficient”
    appliances ?
    Training consumers to use the technology before flooding
    the retail market with gizmo s that are mostly propaganda
    may have been a mistake.
    One washer does not alow the user to add a pair of socks
    to the load in progress without inflicting the need for a
    $ 250. oo repair. Another ” front load” has the technologie
    to try to balance a small load up to seven times. The door costs
    over $ 300. oo plus the service call. The service person has to
    L e a r n how each computor card works , just to look at a repair
    intelligently.
    I don t suppose the mechanic ‘ s wife appreciates the greasy
    coveralls mixed in her load of ” mall ” clothing.
    nor. does the rancher s wife apreciate the shitty coveralls
    put in the daily wash.
    Oh and incidently, if water quality is good. Less soap is needed.
    Soap is more expensive than hot water. Chlorinated water needs more soap.
    Crappy water.crappy life.

    I don t. use air conditioning or a cell phone, and my tablet stays plugged in continuously.

    I have never researched how much power a milli amp transformer
    ( charger) uses if the appliance ( cell or tablet) is not conected
    while it remains in a receptacle.
    With all the updates a desk computor would take a long time to boot
    if it was shut off after each use.

    Your statements have a mission accomplished.
    Think !

  13. We use rain barrels to water out side plants in the summer time. This takes the pressure off our water pumps electricity needs.
    I hang my clothes out to dry in nice weather.

  14. Front load washer may be a little more saving but the coast to replace the belt and wheels that run the washer are expensive and wear quickly due to weight of loads

  15. Does anyone use the steam in their front loader, is it something I will use or just an extra cost? I am looking to buy stackable sand want to know if I should pay the extra.

    1. Been using L.E.D. bulb only for the last 6 years. The lights are only on in the room I’m using.

  16. I keep my heat at 66 or 67 degrees all winter. If I feel cool I wear a sweater. At night while I’m sleeping I turn the heat to 64 or 65. I turn it back up when I start to feel cool during the day. I have saved 3 or 4 dollars a month this way. I wash my clothes and dishes in low peak hours (after 7pm or before 7am). All my lighting is now LED and I always leave only the light I need on at night. My electricity bill dropped from 150.00/mo. to 138.00/ mo. Thank you SV for more tips on how to save energy. I am a widow on a pension and these things really help me save some bucks.tyvm.

  17. I already do all of the 12 simple ways to save energy. In fact, I do not use an air conditioner at all and practically live in the dark. I hang laundry outside if the weather permits or inside if not. Never use the dryer. I do not have a front load washer for reasons that likely make no sense to anyone but me but I only do laundry during cheap times, doing only full loads about every two weeks. I think I am doing my part and if something could be done with delivery charges, which are more than my actual usage and the taxes, hydro would be quite reasonably priced.

  18. I take STRONG ISSUE with your blanket comment that “Did you know: Front beats top” for Washing Machines. About 5 years ago I did an extensive search on this topic, and I will give you the statement that at least one company, (namely Fisherpaykel) was and seems to be The MOST EFFICIENT washing machine going, and it is a TOP-LOAD, This company also produces the MOST efficient AND DESIGNED Refrigerator. Their other products are also worth a look-see, (but they are not cheap). I would suggest that they depend on women (not male engineers) for their product development.

  19. Good tips. They have been valuable for years. Apparently all washers need filters now to trap the micro fiber from clothes that are.t caught anywhere but make their way to the Marine creatures and int the food we eat. The front end loader is best here too.
    The TV systems need to stay on to communicate with other units and the cable company and record . I love the pvr but hate the extreme power use.

  20. I cook after 7 pm. I have front loaders. I only plug microwave and coffee maker in when I need it. Laundry only on weekends.use my outlet on stove for toaster, charging phones slow cooker etc. I do everything I’m supposed to and my Bill is still 286.00 which is the same as when I didn’t do these things. Someone please explain this to me. My neighbors are lower than i am and they have larger homes and 2 to 3 times the people living there and they don’t watch the times of rate!!!

  21. I have been saving energy all that I can. Dishwasher out. Cooking as much as I can on the wood stove. Laundry by hand in cold water. Going to bed early. This winter, sitting in the dark using a candle to read a newspaper. I have electric heat – which is set to less than +10C. I am freezing. My cat is freezing. My indoor plants are dying because of the cold inside.
    And YOU think that I should do more?!?!?! The electricity bills have taken away my savings – and you think that I should BUY a new furnace ? I do a lot of my cloths laundry by hand, and I cannot afford to buy a new laundry machine.
    Please – do NOT insult me by telling me to turn off the water when I brush my teeth, or tell me to turn off the light when I am not home.! All that is already done and I am freezing ! ! !
    And the ‘boss’ for Hydro makes millions in salary ! ! ! Things like this started the French Revolution ! ! ! Some people ate cake – others were starving ! ! !

  22. Would have preferred to have read it without the run-on sentences….but the tips were good. Thanks.

  23. If you are lucky enough to have a clothesline, it is a real energy saver. Can also be used just to hang some things out to freshen them. Also turn your hot water tank down a degree or two, after all too hot can be dangerous.

  24. Anyone planning to re-roof a home or cottage is best advised to use a light coloured shingle or light-coloured metallic roofing. The attic or building will not super-heat on a hot day to the same extent when dark roofing is employed. This will make a building closed to morning heat much cooler without turning on AC–if it is even available. Lighter shades of roofing simply reflect more heat than is absorbed by the roof and is then translated into the building living space. It is quite shocking to see this mistake being repeated over and over again.

  25. Use a clothesline for drying your clothes once the temperature has warmed up to 4 or 5 degrees! Bonus, they smell lovely=

  26. we have a battery operated touch lamp from Lee Valley that we use in mornings instead of turning lights on. In the evenings i bring in a solar light to give us a little ambience no need to use the lamps as it stays light till late and then put the light back out in am

  27. Put clothes on the line outdoors , unplug clocks, lamps etc in rooms seldom used like guest rooms are just a few things we do in our home

  28. I live in a one bedroom apartment, I have no air conditioning, what I do to keep fairly comfortable but not cold is I use window Fans in 3 of my windows and it keeps me reasonably cool,the air is circulated and helps the air to keep moving.

  29. Why is it so hard to keep a front loader clean and smelling nice. I have found that the front load washers have a smell and mold problem. and that the bottom of the washer never emptes, causing mold and possible ill health…they might use less water and electricity but at what cost. I don’t remember having that problem with a top loader.

  30. I like to use a top-loading washing machine, you can stop it and add more clothes
    if you miss out some of the clothes in your children’s room. Wash clothes in cold weather after peak hours. Front load washer die down faster. The tube around the door gets molds easier and bricks down too.

  31. As soon as the weather allows, I dry all my laundry on the clothesline. It not only saves energy, but it leaves the clothes smelling super fresh!

  32. You did not mention that all small appliances should ALWAYS be left unplugged when not in use. i.e. toasters / microwaves / kettles / coffee pots, etc. They are still drawing energy even when not in use.

  33. I did all of the suggestions that apply to me that is on your list. Cold washes only for clothes, LED lights,
    With respect to using the plug only for charging purposes, literally every infrequently used plugs are pulled away from their sockets unless I need one. I was told years ago by an Electrical Engineer that it would reduce my power bill. He was right and I do not know anyone (personally) who have lower power bills. I have no complaints about my power bill !

  34. I didn’t know front loading washers used less energy. I’m glad the new place I’ve moved into has a front loader.

  35. Thank you for the suggestions especially the front load washing machine.
    I didn’t realize it uses 50% less energy compared to traditional washing machine.
    I am thinking of switching.

  36. I do not have an air conditioner unfortunately, however I do leave the blinds closed etc. I can’t afford a new washing machine now, I have a little portable one that is top loading, I don’t know if they make front loading in the portables but when the time comes i will get one if they do.. I have been washing my clothes in cold water for years as I don’t really get them dirty. I am pretty good at turning lights out but I could do better and I do use a lot of the new type of bulbs. I have all new windows so they are OK. I turn my printer off and my computer but I have a bad habit of leaving the TV on when I am not in the room. It is always a good idea to save money and thanks for the reminder.

  37. Saving energy is one thing. Getting the manufacturers of the front load washing machines to change these appliances so they don’t produce mould is something entirely different! I never realized when I bought one I would have to clean the machine monthly and every wash the appliance gets wiped down. What a pain.

  38. Hi,

    Problem with front loading washing machines compare to top loading, is moled and moisture. Top loading, one can keep the door open to dry out, front loading, especially in tight spaces is not as easy.

    You said how to keep a place cool, what about keeping a place warmer

    thanks, Ursula

  39. In order to kill bacteria clothing must be washed in hot water. You recommend washing in cold water to save energy but what about health?

  40. I have put most of the money and energy saving tips to goo d use and saved almost 20% on my electricity bill last year. As I live alone I only wash every two weeks so have full loads and in the summer hang my laundry on the line to dry.

  41. I have been doing and have done all the above tips ,but still the cost is higher no matter how sticker I get with these tips. Any more tips to bring cost down .

  42. Turn off your dryer and hang the laundry out to dry, it smells great and we still don’t have to pay for sunlight and wind. Turn the cloths inside out to prevent fading.

  43. There are very efficient top loading washers available. I had a front loading washer and went back to a top loading LG glass top washer which uses very little water. It has a large capacity tub and many features. Will not ever go back to front loading washer.

  44. ANY way to save energy in our home is good…so here’s our input. Change your ovens, burners and any other heating devices you to “INDUCTION” devices…you WILL save a lot of energy! We were among the 1st households in our huge area up here in Northern Ontario to switch totally to induction 5 years ago and we have saved a “boatload” of $$$$!…the 3 of us are avid cooks, so final tip…study your hydro bill for worst to best usage times and in the “peak” time cook, heat and bake only what is necessary…you’ll save even more! Good Luck!

  45. About front loading washers. I have had one for years, no mold, no mildew. the door has to be left open, a small crack will do, no need to leave it wide open. also salesman told me when I bought it to use very little soap, as that is what causes the problems. I use a plant based liquid soap and only 2 tbsps. per wash load. I love my front loader.

  46. Good tip for LED light bulbs worth the money also the Eco egg sold by The shopping channel for the price and capability to actually clean cloths very good outweighs the cost of detergent by a long shot. also Samsung sells a variable temp control for different compartments in the fridge and very efficient. Some new technology actually will help save money in the long wrong and some still have bugs to be worked out within. The amazon Alexa has some very good advantages of setting up your smart home just take a little patience to play and figure out what you want it to do. If you have the patience to play with this stuff it can actually benefit you overall. times are changing give it a chance.

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