18 No or low Cost Tips to Lower Home Energy Bills

By Kateri Callahan

energy saving tips for family home

As the old adage goes, "neither rain, nor snow, nor heat, nor gloom of night" prevents the postman from his duties, which unfortunately includes the delivery of your monthly home energy bill.

American consumers have been stung by rising home energy bills, which are averaging more than $2000 annually. This huge bite out of the average household wallet each month leaves fewer dollars to cover other important expenses.

According to the National Fuel Funds Network, 30 million American households each year cannot afford fully to heat or cool their homes.

You and every other consumer have the power to lower your energy bill by making a few simple changes. Small, inexpensive ways to cut down energy usage during household tasks like washing laundry can add up to significant savings.

READ MORE: 8 ways to save money around the house

To reduce home energy bills throughout the year, the Alliance suggests these easy tips:

  1. Take the plunge! Switch to washing your clothes in cold water. You could save up to $63 a year!

  2. Do full loads of laundry and dishes to avoid wasting energy and water. Air dry dishes for additional savings.

  3. Clean the dryer lint filter after every laundry load to improve air circulation and quicken drying.

  4. Dry towels and heavier items separately from lighter-weight items when doing laundry.

  5. Take showers instead of baths, and install a low-flow showerhead.

  6. Fix leaky faucets around the house. Consider water-saving faucet attachments.

  7. Insulate your hot water pipes and water heater with approved insulation materials.

  8. Listen to your mother. ("What do you think - we own the electric company?!") Turn off everything that's not in use: lights, TVs, computers, electronics.

  9. Four for the planet. Replace your four most used incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.

  10. Clean or replace AC/heating system filters monthly.

  11. Do not over-wash clothes. Delicate clothes don't need as long a wash cycle as dirty work clothes.

  12. Turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees. It's hot enough to wash anything and much safer.

  13. Presoak or use a soak cycle when washing heavily soiled garments. You'll avoid two washings and save energy.

  14. Use the suds-saving feature if available on your washing machine if a second load of laundry is to be washed right away. This saves the water to be reused in the next load.

  15. Clean the dryer lint filter after every load to improve air circulation and quicken drying.

  16. Dry towels and heavier items separately from lighter-weight items.

  17. Replacing your dryer? Select an energy-efficient, Energy Star-certified model with moisture sensor to save wear and tear on your clothes.

  18. Do full loads of laundry to avoid wasting energy and water.
For more information on money- and energy-saving tips check out http://www.ase.org.

Kateri Callahan is the past President of the Alliance to Save Energy, a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, economy, and national security.