Mini-Calculators: Quick Energy Savings

Where are the energy hogs and where are the energy savers in your home? Learn how making small changes can add up to big savings—from lightbulbs and home heating to diet and dishwashing.

Enter your zip code to begin calculating your energy use.

car

Vampire Voltage: Don’t Let Electronics Suck You Dry

Electricity drained from plugged-in appliances that are left in stand-by mode can account for up to 8 percent of our home energy consumption. To find out how much carbon dioxide (CO2) this phantom energy is responsible for emitting, use our calculator below.

How many do you have of the following items?

  • DVR or TiVO:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Digital Cable Box:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Satellite Receiver:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • VCR:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • DVD Player:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • LCD TV:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Plasma TV:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • CRT TV:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Audio ReceiverStereo:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Desktop Computer:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
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    • 3
    • 4
  • Laptop Computer:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Inkjet Printer:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Laser Printer:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • CRT Monitor:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • LCED Monitor:0

    {step:1,min:0,max:4,value:0,appendsymbol:''}
    • None
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • When you replace your home electronics, choose Energy Star certified products, which can cut both active mode and standby energy losses by 30 percent.

car

Car Washing: Save Water

A clean car doesn't have to come at the cost of gallons of water washing down storm drains and taking oil and other contaminants with it. To find out how much water you can save, use our calculator below.

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Waterless car washes are hitting the market, but to get rid of caked-on mud, go to a commercial wash, which uses no more than 40 gallons at a time and treats waste water for contaminants.
Links

car

Lawn and Garden: Composting

Food that's thrown away winds up producing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, in landfills. To find out how big an impact this can make, use our calculator below.

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Get a kitchen composter, which can hold scraps without raising an odor. Check Earth911.org to see if your city has a municipal composting program for food and/or yard scraps.
Links

car

Air Conditioners: Just Cool It

Many Americans rely on room air conditioners in the summer to keep comfortable, but the carbon dioxide (CO2) put out to power them may wind up making our hot days all that much hotter. To see just how much CO2 is released if you use window-mounted units, please answer the questions below.

Do you cool your room with an Energy Star-certified room air conditioner?

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Install a ceiling fan to circulate the air and keep you cool.
  • If you live in a dry climate, consider an evaporative cooler.
Links

car

Cars: Saving Gas

For every gallon of gas your car consumes, about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. See how quickly that adds up with our calculator below.

  1. How many days per week do you commute to work by car?5 days

    {step:1,min:0,max:7,value:5,appendsymbol:' days'}
    • None
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    • 5
    • 6
    • 7 days
  2. What is the fuel economy of your car?30 mpg

    {step:1,min:10,value:30,max:80,appendsymbol:' mpg'}
    • 10 or less
    •  
    • 30
    • 40
    • 50
    • 60
    • 70
    • 80 or more

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Keep tires properly inflated.
Links

kitchen

Diet: The Meat Matter

The average American diet adds over 3,000 pounds of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere every year, but adding a few greens and leaner meat can make a big difference. To find out how much greenhouse gas your diet is responsible for, use our calculator below.

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Reduce the amount of red meat in one or two meals a week, and experiment with recipes that use meat for flavoring rather than as the main attraction.
Links

car

Dishwashers: Don’t Scrape It Clean

Dishwashers are getting much more efficient, but that won’t make much of a difference if you don’t use yours properly. To find out how much carbon dioxide (CO2) your dishwasher is responsible for emitting and how much water it consumes, use our calculator below.

Percentage of dishwasher usually filled when run:100%

{step:1,min:0,max:100,value:100,appendsymbol:'%'}
  • 0
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  • 20
  • 30
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  • 80
  • 90
  • 100%

Number of times run per week:7 times a week

{step:1,min:0,max:30,value:7,appendsymbol:' times a week'}
  • 0
  • 3
  • 6
  • 9
  • 12
  • 15
  • 18
  • 21
  • 24
  • 27
  • 30

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Don't rinse dishes before washing. Scrape off food (preferably into a compost bin) instead.
Links

car

Lawn Care: Watering

Half of the water we spray on our gardens typically goes to waste due to evaporation and overwatering. Find out how much you can save with our calculator below.

Number of days per week garden watered:3 days

{step:1,min:0,max:7,value:3,appendsymbol:' days'}
  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7 days

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Plant drought-resistant native plants, which require less frequent watering.
Links

car

Home Heating: Fiddling With Your Furnace

Keeping your home comfortable while you're in it makes sense, but when you're away it's a waste of energy. To find out how much carbon dioxide (CO2) your furnace is responsible for emitting, use our calculator below.

What type of heating fuel do you use at home?

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Add programmable thermostats so the furnace doesn’t work as hard while you’re away but kicks back in before you get home. In most homes, you can reduce your heating bill about two percent for each degree that you lower the thermostat for at least eight hours each day.

Links

car

Whole House: Insulation and Weatherstripping

Don't let heat fly out the window or through the roof—insulating, weatherstripping, and sealing the home are a low-cost means to lower your heating fuel bills and reduce CO2 emissions. To find out how much CO2 your home heating is responsible for emitting, use our calculator below.

What type of heating fuel do you use at home?

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Have a certified home energy rater conduct an audit of your house to determine your insulation needs. Your utility may offer free or discounted audits, but if not you can find local certified energy raters at Residential Energy Services Network.
Links

car

Laundry: Line Dry

Dryers typically use up to 1,586 of carbon dioxide CO2 annually, making it one of the most energy-hogging household appliances. To find out how much CO2 your dryer is responsible for emitting, use our calculator below.

How frequently do you run your dryer?3 times a week

{step:1,min:0,max:20,value:3,appendsymbol:' times a week'}
  • 0
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  • 18
  • 20 times a week

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Purchase a drying rack, or a clothesline.
  • If your dryer has a temperature sensing control it can reduce CO2 output by 10 percent; if it has a moisture sensor, it can reduce CO2 output by 15 percent.
Links

car

Lighting: Picking a Better Bulb

Lighting up a house is a necessary use of energy, but also an often needlessly wasteful one. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), which consume only a fifth of the electricity incandescents do, make great substitutes in many rooms.

About how many of your lights are illuminated by compact fluorescent bulbs?

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Pick warmer color CFLs, avoiding their use in cold spots and where they’ll be frequently turned off and on.
Links

car

Refrigerators: Energy Hogs

Refrigerators are often the most power hungry appliance in the home and account for on average about 2,000 pounds of CO2 released annually per household. Check out the greenhouse gas profile of your refrigerator and how you can trim some of those pounds.

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Set refrigerator temperature at 40° F (4°C) and freezer temperature at 0° F (-17°C).
  • Clean the coils.
  • Keep the top clear and move out of the sunlight.
  • Refrigerators with the freezer on either the bottom or top are more efficient than side-by-side models.
Links

car

Water Heaters: Cool Down

If your hot water runs out of the tap at scalding temperature, you're wasting money overheating your water. To find out how much CO2 your water heater is responsible for emitting, use our calculator below.

  1. Is water heated with gas or electricity?

  2. Temperature water heater currently set at:120 degrees Fahrenheit

    {step:1,min:100,max:160,value:120,appendsymbol:' degrees Fahrenheit'}
    • 100
    • 110
    • 120
    • 130
    • 140
    • 150
    • 160

Results for Your Region:

Tips
  • Insulating your water heater’s tank—as well as the first SIX feet or so of its connecting pipes—can help keep your water warm far longer. That means your heater can fire up less frequently.
Links

More Energy Features

Did You Know?

The percentage of U.S. homes with central air-conditioning has more than doubled since 1980. The amount of home energy consumption devoted to cooling has doubled, too.

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