By making energy efficient upgrades at home you can save energy and money. Energy is used to sustain the quality of life from heating and cooling, to lighting, cooking, water use and entertainment. Unfortunately much of this energy is wasted because our cars, our appliances and our homes were not built to be energy efficient.
DID YOU KNOW? If all U.S. households installed efficient hot water heaters, we could save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18 billion dollars per year!
When planning energy efficiency upgrades, here are important questions to consider:
- Where are your greatest energy losses today?
- How much money are you currently spending on home utilities (oil, gas and electric)?
- How long do you plan to stay in your home?
- Would you prefer updating you home by doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor?
- How much money can you afford to spend on energy related maintenance and improvements?
- How long will it take for investments to pay for themselves?
It pays (saves you $$$) when you take action to reduce your energy consumption. Here are tips for how to do this, so pick just 2 to 3 changes to make this year, and next year … and we all benefit. Your most significant savings will come from using energy more wisely.
Heating and Cooling
Improperly sealed/caulked windows can account for up to 25% of total heat loss from a house.
- Caulk and insulate around doors, windows and other noticeable air leaks.
- Insulate your hot water heater and pipes that carry hot water.
- Install programmable thermostats.
- Install energy efficient windows.
A refrigerator built 20 years ago uses 70% more energy than today's energy-efficient models.
- Choose appliances that run on natural gas, which don't require fuel deliveries.
- Install new Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) … and there are government regulations coming that will phase out today's lightbulbs starting in 2011.
- Unplug electronics that aren’t being used. Use a power strip to make it easier to turn off all related equipment, i.e. computers or the TV, with a single switch.
Letting your faucet run for five minutes uses as much energy as a 60-watt light bulbin 14 hours.
- Use low flow water (shower and sink) fixtures.
- Repair leaky faucets right away to reduce the amount of water wasted.
- Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when they’re full.