Replace old incandescent bulbs with CFLs or LEDs and save 75% on lighting costs.
Unplug electronics when they’re not in use, or put them on a smart power strip.
Set your thermostat a bit lower in winter and higher in summer.
Reduce your water heater temperature to 120°F (don’t set it lower, or bacteria could grow in the water). You can run hot water into a glass and use a medical, candy, or meat thermometer to check its temperature.
Keep cool with fans, which cost less to operate than air conditioning.
Wash clothes in cold water.The hot water you use for a load of laundry consumes more energy than the washing machine itself.
Load up your dishwasher. Running a partially full dishwasher means more loads, which means using more energy.
Maintain your clothes dryer. If your dryer vent doesn’t allow the hot, moist air to move easily to the outside, it’s wasting energy and creating a fire hazard. Clean the lint trap after each load, and clean the main duct once a year.
Home energy improvements that will take more time:
Get a home performance assessment to learn how much energy your home uses now and where to make the easiest improvements.
Replace energy hog appliances with efficient models.
Improve your heating and cooling distribution systems by sealing ducts, adding insulation, and installing zoned controls.
Improve your home’s envelope to cut your heating and cooling needs.
Explore whether renewable-energy systems make sense for your home.