Electricity is often one of the major expenses of living in one's own house or apartment, so conserving electricity can save a great deal of money. A few appliances in particular, such as refrigerators and clothing washing machines, consume a great deal of electricity and can be used more effectively or replaced with more efficient appliances. Smaller changes, such as turning off lights whenever one leaves a room and leaving fans off when one is not home, can also substantially affect energy expenses over time. Additionally, household modifications such as adding insulation and purchasing better windows can reduce the cost of heating and cooling one's house. Making these changes, many of which are quite small and incur little or no expense, can greatly help one with conserving electricity and can save a substantial amount of money.
A few minor changes to the use of major household appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, can conserve a substantial amount of electricity and therefore save money. Turning one's air conditioner temperature up just a few degrees, or even just a single degree, conserves electricity over time, particularly if the air conditioner is usually running all the time. Conserving energy by slightly raising the refrigerator temperature is also possible, as many refrigerators are set to excessively low temperatures.
One can also make an effort toward conserving electricity by ensuring that, whenever possible, one only uses electricity when one needs to. Conserving electricity by turning off lights in empty rooms, turning off televisions and computers when not in use, and only running fans when people are in the house or apartment is, in general, neither uncomfortable nor inconvenient. Many appliances use electricity even when not in use, so unplugging unused appliances is another step one can take with the aim of conserving electricity. Even running appliances such as clothes driers and dishwashers at night when they won't contribute to the day's heat and force the air conditioner to run more can help to save some electricity.
Conserving electricity through modifications to one's house or apartment is also possible, especially if one is rebuilding or remodeling. For instance, houses can be built to take advantage of sunlight in order to minimize lighting, heating, and cooling costs. Likewise, adding insulation allows buildings to better retain or keep out heat, thus conserving electricity that would otherwise go toward heating or air conditioning. Replacing old windows with newer ones designed to better prevent heat from leaking in or out can have a similar effect.