10 Bad Energy Habits to Break

Some habits are so ingrained that we don’t even realize we should break them. When it comes to wasting energy, here are 10 no-brainers from the Alliance to Save Energy that could save energy and money on your electric bill.

  1. Leaving the lights on in an empty room. Turning them off when you leave a room will save energy and help your lightbulbs last longer.
  2. Burning old incandescent lightbulbs. LEDs are safer, more efficient and longer-lasting, and they screw into almost any lamp or overhead fixture that you already have.
  3. Leaving electronics plugged in when you’re not using them. Plug your TVs, computers and phone chargers into power strips that make it easy to turn off multiple appliances at once.
  4. Running an extra freezer that’s empty. Unless you really need it for overflow from your main refrigerator/freezer, unplug it.
  5. Holding the refrigerator door open while you decide what you want out of it. Staring into the fridge wastes an average of 7% of the energy the appliance uses. Decide what you want to eat or drink before opening the door.
  6. Running the dishwasher when it’s not full. Wait until it’s full before hitting “start.”
  7. Choosing hot water for clothes washing. Unless your clothes are soiled with oil or grease, switch to cold water, which will get them plenty clean.
  8. Setting the water heater too high. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends 120 degrees, not the 140 degrees that many water heaters default to.
  9. Keeping the thermostat too high in winter and too low in summer—even when the house is empty. A programmable thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature when everyone leaves the house, returns home, goes to bed and wakes up. Just set the times and let the thermostat “remember” them.
  10. Forgetting to change the air filters in your HVAC systems. Filters trap dust, pet hair and other airborne particles. Once they’re clogged, your heating and air conditioning system has to work harder to keep your home comfortable. The harder they work, the higher your energy bills.