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SLIDESHOW: 5 Pain-Free Ways to Save Energy

  • The average American household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy costs. Ouch! If you're smarting from high energy bills, these simple, low-cost measures can offer some relief.

  • Change a bulb

    Replace conventional incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STARĀ®-certified LEDs. These bulbs are at least 75 percent more efficient and last much longer.

  • Adjust the thermostat

    Raise or lower temperatures (depending on the season) to save energy at night or when you're away from home. Programmable thermostats add convenience and optimize savings. Smart models include advanced features, such as remote control, that make things even easier.

  • Unplug

    Many electronic devices continue to draw power when they're turned off or not in use. Unplug battery chargers and other devices when it's convenient. Use a power strip to shut down clustered devices with one click. Handy advanced power strips automatically power off idle equipment.

  • Take shorter showers

    The typical shower uses 30 to 50 gallons of hot water, costing you money. Limit showers to 10 minutes or less. Install water-efficient showerheads; it's a low-cost upgrade that can reduce energy and water use.

  • Use the microwave

    Heat food with the microwave instead of a conventional oven whenever possible. You can reduce cooking energy use by up to 80 percent when using a microwave. This also helps save on summer air conditioning costs, because less heat is generated compared to a stove or oven.

  • Looking to save more? Hire a qualified home energy auditor. Your auditor will examine your home, diagnose any conditions that are causing energy waste and suggest ways to fix them.

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