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50 Ways to Conserve Energy

Heidi Cardenas

There are plenty of good reasons to conserve energy, chief among them cutting your utility bills, reducing pollution and reducing the demand on natural resources. There are many simple things anyone can do to lower consumption and conserve energy.

These 50 ways to conserve energy will save you money and help the environment for all of us.

Heating and Air

  1. Change or clean furnace filters once a month.
  2. Caulk and seal around windows and doors.
  3. Add foam inserts to all electrical outlets.
  4. Use a programmable thermostat and set it to use less heating or cooling when out of the house or while sleeping.
  5. Make sure heat registers are not blocked by furniture or anything else.
  6. Use draperies and blinds to let sun in during the day and insulate against cold during the winter.
  7. Choose energy-efficient models when replacing old furnaces and heaters.
  8. Install solar panels on the roof and switch heating units from gas to electric.
  9. If the house has an efficient fireplace, use it in winter.
  10. Insulate the attic and any attached facilities such as a garage, mudroom or breakfast nook.
  11. Install energy-efficient windows and doors.
  12. Use draft sealers in front of doors and on windowsills in older, drafty homes.
  13. Seal off heat registers in rooms not in use.
  14. Close fireplace flues tightly and securely when not using the fireplace.
  15. Use room air conditioners instead of whole-house or central air when possible.


  1. Set the air conditioning to 78 degrees or warmer and set the fan on auto.
  2. Use the auto sensor on the clothes dryer to avoid overdrying.
  3. Clean or replace the air conditioning filter every month.
  4. Turn off ceiling fans when leaving home.
  5. Use surge protectors throughout the home and turn them off when leaving.
  6. Install solar landscape lighting instead of wired electrical lighting.
  7. Install motion-sensor lighting in bathrooms, utility rooms and offices to keep lights from burning in empty rooms.
  8. Use energy-efficient light bulbs throughout the home.
  9. Install motion-sensor outdoor lighting for security instead of leaving a light on all night.
  10. Put night lights on timers to avoid forgetting to turn them off in the morning.
  11. Turn off computers and monitors when not working, or use reduced-power or sleep modes.
  12. Install skylights or light tubes for natural lighting throughout the home.
  13. Use air dry instead of heat dry on dishwashers.
  14. If building a new home, consider small solar- and wind-power systems to generate energy.
  15. Consider eliminating all but one television in the home.


  1. Ride a bike or walk as much as possible instead of driving.
  2. Carpool to work and school, or use public transportation when available.
  3. Keep tires inflated properly and wheels properly aligned.
  4. Do not let a vehicle idle. Turn off and park when not driving.
  5. Avoid speeding, gunning the engine and slamming on the brakes.
  6. Don’t load a vehicle with excess weight.
  7. Replace or clean air filters regularly.
  8. Combine errands to reduce the number of frequent short trips.
  9. Get regular tune-ups and maintenance.
  10. Use the right grade of motor oil for the vehicle being driven.

Water and Water Heater

  1. Turn down the thermostat on the water heater.
  2. Insulate the water heater.
  3. Use a newer, energy efficient water heater.
  4. Insulate exposed water pipes connecting to the water heater.
  5. Drain a quart of water monthly from the water heater to remove sediment that reduces the efficiency of the heater.
  6. Consider using a solar water heater.
  7. Wash clothes in cold water as much as possible.
  8. Only wash full loads in the washing machine.
  9. Install a timer on an electric water heater and use it during off-peak hours
  10. Use a solar pool heater for swimming pools.