Simple ways you can improve your home's energy efficiency every day.

Whether you're looking to save some money or save the planet, changing your daily energy usage habits is the perfect place to start. The electricity we use to power our homes every day can have a much bigger impact on the health of our planet than most of us realize. Luckily, with just a few simple habit changes, you can make a big impact. Here are 15 habits that will help you improve your home's energy efficiency every day.

1. Draw the blinds during the day.

Keep the hot sun from turning your home into a greenhouse by using the blinds on your windows to stop the heat from coming into your home and keep the cool air in.

2. Set your thermostat to 85 when you’re out and 78 when you’re in.

During hot summer days while you are out and about, try keeping your thermostat set to 85 degrees. When you’re hanging out at home, 78 degrees is the optimal temperature for comfort and energy efficiency.

3. Run your ceiling fans clockwise.

Instead of using an air conditioner, try running your ceiling fans clockwise when it’s hot to pull warm air up and push cool air down. To save some extra power, remember to turn all ceiling fans off when you leave your home.

4. Nix the game console for viewing entertainment.

If you're a streaming video fan, be sure not to watch those movies using your video game console. They use 45 times the amount of electricity that a smart TV does — and that adds up fast (for the environment and your wallet).

5. Load up your washer.

Only use your washing machine when you have a full load. Small loads waste water and precious energy.

6. Air dry your clothing.

Whenever possible, air dry your clothes. Not only will you save energy, but the fabric will last longer and look crisper.

7. Cut that dish drying cycle short.

Let your dishes air dry instead of using the drying cycle on your dishwasher. You can do this by simply turning it off before it starts. Believe it or not, this simple change has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars a year.

8. Turn “sleep mode” on.

Screensavers on your computer can cost you in energy over time. Turn on the sleep mode instead.

9. Limit your use of portable heaters.

One portable heater can cost almost 20 cents an hour to run. The cost of using one for 8 hours a day everyday can cost you close to $50 a month. And there's nothing efficient about that.

10. Watch your refrigerator temperature.

The optimal temperature to keep your fridge at is between 30 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping it any lower will waste unneccessary energy.

11. Unplug your battery charger.

Have a battery charger for your phone, tablet, or computer? Remember to unplug it when you're not charging these items, or when the batters are fully charged. This will do wonders for the life of your battery and save a lot of energy.

12. Open your blinds and curtains on cold days.

In the winter time, the sun is your best friend. If you find yourself feeling tempted to grab a heater on a cold, try throwing open your blinds first to let the sun rays heat the interior of your house. It can make a bigger difference than you'd think.

13. Get rid of pans with loose fitting lids.

Tight fitting lids on pots and pans can greatly reduce the energy needed to cook a meal. Make sure yours fit properly to cut heat loss, as this will save energy and reduce your cooking time so you can enjoy your favorite meals sooner.

14. Washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot water.

This simple change can add up to big time energy and money savings over time.

15. Make the most of your microwave.

Microwaves use up to 80% less energy that their stove counterparts. So instead of using the stove to reheat your leftovers, give your microwave its time to shine.