Fix leaky faucets. A dripping faucet can waste 6 to 10 gallons of water a day.
Install energy-efficient showerheads and faucet aerators to reduce water use.
Take a shower instead of a bath.
Set the water heater temperature at 120°. Consult the owner’s manual for your specific model. Caution: Turn the power off at the circuit breaker before changing the temperature!
Insulate water pipes to help keep cold water pipes from freezing and hot water pipes hot.
Cooking and cleaning
Use a microwave, toaster oven or slow cooker instead of the oven.
Recipes list preheating as the first step, but wait until 10 minutes before baking to turn your oven on to avoid wasting energy.
Cook your meal in ceramic or glass dishes. You can lower the oven temperature by 25°F when baking with these dishes.
Refrigerators and freezers
Set the refrigerator temperature between 37° and 40° and the freezer at 0° for top efficiency and food safety.
Keep refrigerator coils clean and unobstructed.
Keep your refrigerator or freezer full, but do not block the unit’s interior air vents.
Cover all liquids stored in the refrigerator.
Only run your dishwasher when it is filled to capacity, but not overloaded.
Choose the shortest wash cycle that will clean your dishes, and use an air-dry option on your dishwasher, if available.
Hang clothes outside when possible.
Run separate loads for fast and slow-drying clothes.
Clean the lint filter after every load. Clean out the vent at least once a year.
Wash with warm or cold water. Rinse with cold water.
Run full loads. Reduce the water level setting for smaller loads.
Turn off lights every time you leave a room.
Use energy-efficient LED bulbs to save on lighting costs. Find a list of retailers that offer discounted bulbs at wattsmart.com.
Use task lighting so that other lights in the room can be turned off or dimmed.
For lighting at night and/or for safety reasons, consider photocells (daylight sensors) and motion sensors. Use timers for lights to come on during a set time.
Computers and electronics
Save energy and money by turning off electronics when not needed.
Plug computers, printers, TVs and cell phone chargers into a power strip and turn the power strip off when your electronics are not in use. Use an advanced power strip to automatically sense when your electronics are idle and cut off the power flow to them.
Pools and spas
Check the manufacturer’s recommendations to determine how often to run the pump. This may vary by season and geographic region.
Use a timer to control the pump’s cycling.
Keep pool filters and intake grates clear of debris.
Lower the pool heater temperature 1-4 degrees to save energy.
Cover your pool to keep heat in and debris out.
Consider upgrading to an energy-efficient variable speed pool pump to save money.