1. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs. This could save your family an extra $100 dollars a year. The usage of energy efficient light bulbs across the United States saves an estimated $13 billion annually.
2. Switch to an energy efficient refrigerator. The average home can save $250 over 5 years by updating their refrigerator. Not only that, but a new refrigerator will prevent up to 8,200 lbs of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere.
3. Switch to a smart thermostat. These intelligent devices are becoming more affordable and are a great way to manage how you use heating and cooling, especially in a bigger home. The average family saves $180 a year with a smart thermostat upgrade.
4. Get a smart water heater. Your water heater does not need to run all day. If you switch to a smart water heater you can program it to adapt to your habits so you never use more than what you need.
5. Switch to low flow faucets. Low flow faucets that aerate the water can reduce your hot water usage between 25% and 60%, according to the US Department of Energy.
6. Make sure that your hot water heater has proper insulation around it. The extra energy needed to heat water in an non-insulated heater can be exorbitant.
7. Switch out stainless or teflon pots and pans for copper bottomed ones. Copper transfers heat better than stainless steel. Cooking with them means using less heat. Meaning less energy. Meaning less money spent on energy bills.
8. Install energy efficient windows in your house. Windows can account for up to 10% of a home's heat loss, make sure your windows aren't leaking heat and causing your energy bill to rise.
9. Upgrade your dishwasher. Older dishwashers can use up to 10 gallons of water per rinse cycle. If your dishwasher is a bit on the older side – built before 1994 according to Energy Star – time to upgrade.
10. Install a tankless water heater. A tankless water heater heats water just in time for use as opposed to the traditional hot water reservoir of conventional water heaters. Energy Star reports that you can save $20 dollars annually using a tankless heater.
11. Get an energy efficiency audit. Knowing where your biggest energy loss is happening is a huge first step in moving towards energy efficiency. An energy audit can pinpoint those areas that could be costing you.
12. Properly insulate your floors. Your floors can account for up to 15% of the heat loss that your home experiences. If your house has a crawlspace, make sure there is insulation on the interior of the walls. If your house is older and sits on top of a slab, install foam insulation and a plywood floated subfloor under your carpet.
13. Upgrade to Energy Star rated audio and video equipment. Admit it, your A/V system gets a lot of use. Look for the Energy Star emblem on any piece of equipment you buy; it will use up to 50% less energy.
14. Install smart plugs. Some appliances in the home use up energy even when they're turned "off". We call these energy vampires. Identify these vampires in your home and install smart plugs to turn them off at the source.