You got sick of hearing your dad yelling to close the doors and turn off the lights, but now that you have a house of your own and your own brood of energy consumers, you see his point. If you are looking to reduce your monthly energy bill and overall tax on the planet, encourage everyone to take part in lower energy consumption.
Heating and cooling costs are a big part of your electrical bill. If you can reduce the amount of energy you pump into your house to maintain a certain temperature, you can lower your costs. Lower your thermostat in the winter and raise it in the summer when no one is around to notice a difference. At night, you can adjust it slightly while everyone sleeps, and doors aren’t opening to the outside. When you are gone, lower or raise the thermostat to adjust for the fact that no one can feel it anyway. And remember that throwing on a sweater costs nothing. Lower the maximum temperature for water. If you are pumping hot water through your pipes, only to temper it with cool water, you are wasting energy. Open your windows to warm or cool the house on mild days.
Keep up on quarterly and annual cleanings to ensure your electric and other appliances are working to their maximum. Dust the coils of your refrigerator. Dust will act as an insulator, making the coils work harder to cool your fridge. Replace filters in your heating and cooling system so air doesn’t have to work hard to get through a layer of dust and grime. Check your insulation, door jams, window jams and fireplace on a regular basis. Make sure that air isn’t escaping or getting in inadvertently. You pay a lot to cool or heat that air to the temperature you like. Don’t spew it all outside.
Keeping up on your chores can save you energy as well. If you suddenly realize your uniform or that one shirt is dirty, you will end up doing lots of extra little loads. Instead, do regular, full loads of laundry to make full use of each time the washing machine runs. The same is true of the dishwasher. Don’t wash individual dishes when you suddenly need them. Do a load only when it is full. If you do need an individual item, hand wash it.