10 Common Energy-Efficient Mistakes And How To Combat Them


Energy Saving Practices

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As we all strive for a greener, more sustainable lifestyle, many homeowners are taking it upon themselves to try different energy-saving practices. However, if you don’t do it right, it can lead to increased energy consumption and higher costs. Here are some common energy-efficient mistakes you might be making and how to combat them effectively.

  1. Overlooking Drafts And Insulation Issues

One of the most common energy mistakes is ignoring drafts and inadequate insulation. Drafts from windows, doors, and attics can significantly increase your heating and cooling needs. Are you wondering why your house just can’t seem to warm in the winter, even with the heating on? This is probably why. You might even end up with heat gain in summer, forcing your HVAC system to work so much harder.

To combat this, check regularly for drafts and seal any gaps with weather stripping or caulk. Invest in high-quality insulation for your walls, roof, and attic. This one-time investment can lead to substantial long-term savings.

  1. Misusing Thermostats

Many believe that setting the thermostat at a constant temperature saves energy. In reality, this can lead to unnecessary energy use, especially when the house is empty or during sleep hours.

Try using a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature according to your daily schedule. Lowering the temperature by a few degrees when you’re away or asleep can significantly reduce your energy bill.

  1. Neglecting Appliance Maintenance

Appliances, particularly HVAC systems, refrigerators, and water heaters, can become less efficient over time due to lack of maintenance. For example, a buildup of dust can strain the systems, increasing energy usage.

Schedule regular maintenance for your appliances. Clean or replace filters in your HVAC system, defrost your refrigerator regularly, and drain your water heater annually to remove sediment.

  1. Using Inefficient Light Bulbs

Traditional incandescent bulbs consume more energy than their modern counterparts. While the initial cost is lower, they have a shorter lifespan and use up more electricity.

Luckily, it’s easy to switch to LED or CFL bulbs. They use up to 75% less energy and last much longer than traditional bulbs, offering huge savings over time.

  1. Renting The Wrong Property

If you’re renting, it can be particularly difficult to adopt any of these changes, as they’ll likely be the landlord’s responsibility. This is why it’s worth asking landlords how they combat energy consumption before moving in. This is especially important if you’re renting with roommates in expensive cities like Phoenix, New York, Boston, or anywhere else in the US. You’ll want to save money where you can, and being energy efficient is sure to help.

  1. Overlooking Energy Vampires

Many devices consume energy even when they’re not in use. Chargers, modems, routers, and appliances with standby modes can add to your electricity bill without you realizing it.

Unplug devices when you’re not using them, or try power strips to switch off multiple devices at once. Consider investing in smart plugs that you can control remotely to ensure your devices are off when they’re not needed.

  1. Incorrect Water Heating Practices

Excessive water heating is another common issue. Many households set their water heater thermostat higher than necessary or use more hot water than needed, leading to higher energy consumption.

Set your water heater thermostat to 120°F, as this is perfect for most needs. Fix any leaking faucets and consider installing low-flow showerheads to reduce hot water usage.

  1. Poor Appliance Usage Habits

How you use your appliances can affect your energy consumption. For example, running a half-empty dishwasher or washing machine, using the oven for small meals, or keeping the refrigerator door open for long periods can increase energy usage.

Always run full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine. For small meals, use a toaster oven or microwave, as these use less energy than a full-sized oven.

  1. Ignoring External Heat Sources

Homeowners often underestimate the impact of external heat sources on their home’s temperature. For example, sunlight streaming through windows, especially during summer, can increase the temperature inside, causing your air conditioning systems to work harder than they need to.

Invest in thermal curtains or blinds to block out heat during the summer months. Make sure to open them during the winter to allow natural sunlight to warm your home. Additionally, planting shade trees near windows can provide a natural barrier against heat in the summer while allowing sunlight through in winter when the leaves have fallen.

  1. Misunderstanding Energy Star Ratings

Many consumers purchase appliances based on the Energy Star label without fully understanding what it means. While Energy Star-rated appliances are more efficient than non-rated ones, there’s still a range within this category. Some homeowners end up choosing appliances that are better than standard models but not the most efficient within the Energy Star range.

When shopping for new appliances, look for more than just the Energy Star label. Compare the energy use among different Energy Star models to find the most efficient option. Check the EnergyGuide label, which provides a precise estimate of the appliance’s energy consumption and operating cost. Opting for the most efficient model within your budget can lead to greater energy savings in the long run.


Being energy-efficient requires more than just intention; it involves understanding and rectifying common mistakes. By addressing these seven areas, homeowners can significantly reduce their energy usage, save money, and contribute positively to environmental conservation. Remember, small changes can lead to significant differences in your energy footprint.

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Himanshu Shah
Himanshu Shah is the chief marketing officer at MyDecorative.Com, and he is also a young enthusiastic writer who is gumptious and talented. He has sound analytical and technical skills. He is a blogger, Digital Marketing Expert who likes to write on home decor.


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