8 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

At a glance

Many homeowners and renters are trying to cut costs to make up for rising prices. Lucky for you, one of the easiest places to save money is right inside your own house or apartment.

Making your home more energy efficient isn’t just good for the environment, it goes a long way in reducing your monthly utilities, too. In fact, if you implement the right changes, you can see those bills drop anywhere from 20–30% per year.

Here are eight easy ways you can make your home more energy efficient without making a drastic lifestyle change or tackling major renovations:

  1. Cover bare floors with rugs
  2. Insulate your windows
  3. Install energy efficient lightbulbs
  4. Use smart power strips
  5. Invest in a smart thermostat
  6. Seal your doors and windows
  7. Change your ceiling fan direction
  8. Clean your refrigerator coils
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Ever wondered how your utility bills compare to the rest of the country? See what the average energy bill looks like in each state—then find more tips for saving money on utilities in our Utility Bills 101 guide.

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1. Use rugs on bare floors

Instead of cranking up the heat whenever your bare floors get too cold during the winter, lay down a nice area rug instead. Rugs trap heat much more efficiently than hardwood flooring does, giving the heating system in the apartment a bit of a rest.

Move.org’s picks

ProductEstimated priceLearn more
Safavieh Moroccan Ogee Plush Runner, 2'3" x 6'$37View on Amazon
nuLOOM Contemporary Area Rug, 5' x 8'$68View on Amazon
Safavieh Grey/Gold Rug, 6'7" x 9'2"$132View on Amazon
Safavieh Vintage Bohemian Navy Area Rug, 8' x 10'$191View on Amazon
Product
Safavieh Moroccan Ogee Plush Runner, 2'3" x 6'
nuLOOM Contemporary Area Rug, 5' x 8'
Safavieh Grey/Gold Rug, 6'7" x 9'2"
Safavieh Vintage Bohemian Navy Area Rug, 8' x 10'
Estimated price Learn more
$37 View on Amazon
$68 View on Amazon
$132 View on Amazon
$191 View on Amazon

2. Insulate your windows

Poorly insulated windows let cool air in during the winter and let cool air escape during the summer. Taking care of this one simple issue is another way to rely less on your heating and cooling system all year round.

Try an inexpensive window insulator or add thermal curtains.

Move.org’s picks

ProductEstimated priceLearn more
Duck Heavy Duty Insulating Film Window Kit, 3 Windows$8View on Amazon
3M Indoor Window Insulator Kit, 5 Windows$12View on Amazon
NICETOWN Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains, Multiple Sizes & Colors$19 & upView on Amazon
H.VERSAILTEX Blackout Curtains, Multiple Sizes & Colors$29 & upView on Amazon
Product
Duck Heavy Duty Insulating Film Window Kit, 3 Windows
3M Indoor Window Insulator Kit, 5 Windows
NICETOWN Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains, Multiple Sizes & Colors
H.VERSAILTEX Blackout Curtains, Multiple Sizes & Colors
Estimated price Learn more
$8 View on Amazon
$12 View on Amazon
$19 & up View on Amazon
$29 & up View on Amazon

3. Use energy efficient lightbulbs

CFL and LED light bulbs aren’t just more energy efficient—they also shine brighter and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Not only do you get the benefit of saving money on utility bills, but you’ll also have to buy replacement bulbs less often.

Move.org’s picks

ProductEstimated priceLearn more
Philips T2 100W-Equivalent CFL Light Bulb, 4-Pack$10View on Amazon
Sylvania T2 60W-Equivalent CFL Light Bulb, 8-Pack$20View on Amazon
Great Eagle A19 100W-Equivalent LED Light Bulbs, 6-Pack$19View on Amazon
Sylvania A19 60W-Equivalent LED light Bulbs, 24-Pack$24View on Amazon
Product
Philips T2 100W-Equivalent CFL Light Bulb, 4-Pack
Sylvania T2 60W-Equivalent CFL Light Bulb, 8-Pack
Great Eagle A19 100W-Equivalent LED Light Bulbs, 6-Pack
Sylvania A19 60W-Equivalent LED light Bulbs, 24-Pack
Estimated price Learn more
$10 View on Amazon
$20 View on Amazon
$19 View on Amazon
$24 View on Amazon

4. Use smart power strips

Did you know your appliances and electronic devices can still draw power even when they’re turned off? Turns out these devices make up about 25% of all residential energy consumption even though they’re in standby or idle mode.1

More expensive models come with Alexa, Apple Home, and other smart home integrations or apps that let you remotely control which electronics get turned off. And some energy-saving power strips turn certain devices on or off when they’re not in use based on the order they’re plugged into the strip.

For example, if you plug your TV into the “master” plug on the strip, it automatically cuts off power to your Blu-Ray player and game console when the TV is not in use.

Move.org’s picks

ProductEstimated priceLearn more
TrickleStar 12-Outlet Advanced Power Strip$14View on Amazon
BESTEK Surge Protector 8-Outlet Power Strip$34View on Amazon
TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi 6-Outlet Power Strip$65View on Amazon
Product
TrickleStar 12-Outlet Advanced Power Strip
BESTEK Surge Protector 8-Outlet Power Strip
TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi 6-Outlet Power Strip
Estimated price Learn more
$14 View on Amazon
$34 View on Amazon
$65 View on Amazon

5. Don’t heat an empty home

Installing a smart thermostat is a great way to automatically adjust your home’s temperature based on how you’re actually using it. You can turn off the heater during the day while you’re at work and have it automatically turn back on at certain times, giving you a nice and toasty home to return to.

Move.org’s picks

ProductEstimated priceLearn more
Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat, Alexa-Enabled$133View on Amazon
Nest Learning Thermostat, Alexa-Enabled$189View on Amazon
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Room Sensor, Alexa-Enabled$198View on Amazon
Product
Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat, Alexa-Enabled
Nest Learning Thermostat, Alexa-Enabled
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Room Sensor, Alexa-Enabled
Estimated price Learn more
$133 View on Amazon
$189 View on Amazon
$198 View on Amazon

6. Seal your doors and windows

If you’ve found a draft in one of your doors or windows, you’ve just spotted one of the primary ways that money is leaving your bank account without you realizing it.

By sealing your doors and windows, you can make sure that the cool air during the summer or warm air during the winter actually stays in your home where it belongs.

Move.org’s picks

ProductEstimated priceLearn more
CloudBuyer Weatherproof Door & Window Weatherstrip, 2-Pack$8View on Amazon
BAINING Door Draft Stopper Door Sweep for Exterior/Interior Doors$10View on Amazon
MAGZO Draft Stopper, 36-inch$20View on Amazon
Product
CloudBuyer Weatherproof Door & Window Weatherstrip, 2-Pack
BAINING Door Draft Stopper Door Sweep for Exterior/Interior Doors
MAGZO Draft Stopper, 36-inch
Estimated price Learn more
$8 View on Amazon
$10 View on Amazon
$20 View on Amazon

7. Change your ceiling fan direction for the season

7. save on energy costs by changing your ceiling fan rotation

Maintaining the right temperature in your apartment is all about proper air circulation.

Your ceiling fan should be pushing air down during those warm summer months and drawing it up during the winter to help regulate the temperature and create a more comfortable environment at the same time.

Not sure which direction your ceiling fan should rotate in the winter? Check out this handy guide from Home Depot.

8. Vacuum and dust your refrigerator coils and fan regularly

8. save on energy costs by cleaning refrigerator coils

Vacuuming and dusting your refrigerator coils and fan regularly helps to improve the energy efficiency of this ever-important appliance.

Regular cleaning also reduces the chance your fridge breaks down (ruining all your groceries in the process)—and your refrigerator will also use less electricity and save you money at the exact same time.

Not sure where to start cleaning? Check out this refrigerator maintenance guide from The Family Handyman.

Recap

Making your home more energy efficient doesn’t have to be a costly or lengthy process at all. Spending a few minutes to make these changes can yield a substantial difference in the cost of your utilities over the course of the year.

Have you tried any of these tips? Do you have any other suggestions that have helped save you money? Let our readers know what you’re doing to make your home more energy efficient in the comments below!

About Dwayne Hogan

Dwayne Hogan
Dwayne is a moving specialist for Move.org.