Smart Ideas for Saving Energy & Money

Consider these steps to cut your home’s energy consumption, keep utility bills low, and lead a more efficient lifestyle.

 

Live Efficiently

Energy efficiency has become a way of life for many of today’s homeowners. Not only is it environmentally responsible, but this lifestyle change can save you a lot of money over time. Another reason to consider? Many of the energy-saving purchases and updates you can make to your home — discussed in the following slides — qualify for U.S. federal tax credits. For more information, visit: energystar.gov/taxcredits.

Buy Energy Star

Major appliances are your home’s second biggest energy hogs, behind heating and cooling. Replace outdated appliances with efficient new models and save roughly $75 per year on energy. Energy Star-qualified models have a range of efficiencies, so compare models and go with the most efficient.

energy

Use Occupancy Sensors

Turn off the lights when you leave a room. If that’s difficult for you or your kids to remember, buy lights with occupancy sensors that automatically turn off when there hasn’t been movement for a period of time. Consider dimmer switches that let you reduce lightingwhen you don’t need it and have occupancy sensors. Dimmers can easily replace the regular switch and keep a low profile.

sensor

Unplug Your Electronics

If you leave gadgets and charger cords plugged in when they’re not being used, this can account for as much as 10 percent of a home’s energy use. Instead, plug devices into power strips that you can switch off when not in use.

unplug

Energy-Saving Laundry Solutions

Do your laundry in cold water. Many of today’s detergents and fabric softeners are much more efficient and don’t necessarily need the hot water. Using cold water means you won’t have to waste energy to start up the water heater.

In the summer months, line-dry your laundry instead of using a dryer. Reducing your use of a dryer can save up to $100 a year in operating costs. Plus, line-drying is easier on your clothes, so you save what you would otherwise spend on wear and tear.

laundry

More No-Cost Energy-Saving Solutions

–On cool days, take advantage of the sun’s warmth by opening south-facing window blinds and shades; close them at night. On hot days, block out the sun’s warmth by closing these window treatments.

–When using your oven, don’t open the oven door to view inside. Instead, just use the light. When you repeatedly open the oven door, it takes longer for food to cook and it wastes energy.

–Prune shrubs and remove grass and leaves that block airflow around your central air-conditioner or heat pump unit

window

Program It

Install a programmable thermostat. This allows you to set times for the air-conditioner or furnace to run and won’t waste energy on an empty house. This gadget easily pays for itself in less than a year.

program

Turn Down the Temperature

Lower the temperature on your water heater. Most water heaters are set much too high at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Save energy by turning your water heater down to 120-110 degrees — and yes, you can still live comfortably.

water

Change Your Lightbulbs

Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). They cost about $1 more than traditional bulbs, but they use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer. It takes only about 17 days to coup the difference.

cfl

Close the Gaps

Small gaps around windows, doors, and other areas of the house add up on average to equal a 9-square-foot hole. Seal gaps and cracks with caulk and/or weather stripping to keep the cold air out in the winter and the hot air out in the summer and watch your energy bills drop by up to 20 percent.

caulk

Schedule a Tune-Up

Dirt can build up over a year’s time, causing your HVAC system to perform poorly. If ignored, this can lead to higher energy costs and potentially higher repair costs. Have a licensed professional check your system annually.

If your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, and your heat pump or air-conditioner 12 years old, consider replacing it with a new energy-efficient model.

hvac

Fix Water Leaks

Check for leaky fixtures and appliances, and inspect the pipes under each sink, your washing machine hose, and the floor around your water heater for potential leaks that could be wasting energy and draining your wallet. Also, test toilets for leaks. Replacing the flapper will usually fix that problem.

sink

Add Insulation

Most homes are underinsulated, which means heating and cooling systems are forced to work overtime to keep a home comfortable. Add fiberglass insulation to your attic floor and house walls and save up to 30 percent on heating and cooling costs. Check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s online tool that recommends the most efficient level of insulation for a house based on ZIP codes and other parameters including house type, fuel used, and current energy prices.

insulation

 

Be sure to visit: BHG for full article and more tips!

http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/green-living/energy-efficient/smart-ideas-for-saving-energy–money/?socsrc=bhgfb_20160113123000#page=16

Share this Post