Each of us can help control our own energy use, and little changes can go a long way. Simple ideas, such as installing ENERGY STAR® qualified LED bulbs - or turning off and unplugging electrical appliances when not in use - can have big effects. These steps avoid energy waste, save money on energy bills, and help prevent pollution. When you manage your energy use, you help the environment.
- Replace any light bulb, especially ones that burn more than one hour per day, with a light-emitting diode (LED) bulb.
- Seal from the inside. Air sealing is an inexpensive way to lower energy costs and improve comfort. Seal gaps and holes in walls, floors, and ceilings with caulk or foam sealant. Look for cracks around windows and where wires and pipes pass through.
- Plug electronic devices such as cable boxes, printers and TVs into power strips to turn off during vacations or long periods without use. Smart power strips make it an easy task to save money.
- Close shades and drapes during the day to help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- Change your central HVAC system filter when dirty by the manufacturers recommendations. Dirty filters can impact your home comfort and increase your electricity bill.
- A one degree increase in heating setpoint or reduction in cooling setpoint can increase energy use by 3 – 5%.
- Have your duct work checked for leaks. Leaks at the return, air handler and supply can be a major source of high bills. Mobile homes check at the grill, cross over duct and down flow air handler, for leaks.
- Set both the upper and lower water heater thermostats no higher than 120 F.
- An electric space heater can cost more than $100 per month to operate. Minimize their use, except for limited or temporary spot heating. Turn space heaters off when leaving the room.
- Ensure refrigerator door seals are tight. Eliminate unnecessary refrigerators.
Here are even more energy saving tips from our partner, Minnesota's Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives.
Common energy myths
There are many misconceptions about home energy use. Don’t be fooled by these common energy myths.
The Minnesota State Parks and Trails guide is made possible through the generous support of Minnesota's Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives, an alliance of electric cooperatives. Contact the DNR Information Center to request your copy.