Did you know that you have the power to save both energy and money right in your very own home? Saving energy means that the overall demand for the resources to create energy in the nation, and increasing your level of energy efficiency is akin to adding one more clean source of energy to our power grid.
Heating and Cooling
Did you know that half of our energy costs are due to heating and cooling our homes? One way to fix this is to make sure that you have an energy efficient system in place. If you don’t, it might be time to get a new one. Heating installation really doesn’t cost all that much and you will make that money up in time with the savings on your energy bill.
Also Regarding the Heating System
Aside from having a new furnace installed, there are other things that you can do to save on both the energy source and the cost. Did you know that you will be able to save energy while still making sure that your home is comfortable simply by adjusting your thermostat? You might even consider installing one of the new programmable thermostats. They can allow for you to schedule the times of day that you want specific temperatures in your home. For example, on those days when nobody will be at home, you might want to keep the temperature about 10 degrees higher in the summer and 10 degrees cooler in the winter. You can program it to turn on in the afternoons so that when you get home from work, the house will be perfectly cozy for you.
Low Flow Stuff
We can help the environment in ways other than saving energy. What about saving on another natural resource such as water? By installing low flow fixtures, you will be saving both water and money. They are not too expensive and can be installed with ease. They can also be responsible for reducing your water use by as much as 50% while saving you as much as $145 on a yearly basis. This is according to Energy Star, which is a program run by the government to promote energy efficiency. You can get a low flow showerhead for as little as $20 at your local home improvement store.
Insulation is used to make sure that your home remains cool in the summer and warm in the winter while reducing your costs for heating and cooling by up to 20%. This is according to a company called Green Energy Solutions, Inc. that specializes in getting buildings retro-fitted to ensure that they are more energy efficient. Rolls of insulation can be gotten at your local home improvement store for as little as $15 each.
Did you know that a fluorescent light bulb can last as much as 10 times longer than the old fashioned incandescent light bulbs? Yes, they are initially more expensive, but you will be able to save on your energy bills and they look cooler too.
Usually, a modern dishwasher will use close to 6 gallons of water for each cycle. Older ones will use closer to 10 gallons. According to Energy Star, by upgrading to a modern dishwasher you will be able to save about $8 per year on your water bill. If you have one that is only a few years old though, you might just repair and clean it to make sure that it is running efficiently.
Tips for DIY Energy Assessment
There are things that you can do to ensure that your home is as energy efficient as possible. They include things like:
- Checking on the insulation that is in your crawl spaces, floors, ceilings, basement and exterior walls, and attic. This will help you to determine the R-values of the insulation in the various parts of your home. You can get more information on this at Energysavers.gov.
- Check for air leakage around your electrical outlets, switches, plumbing and light fixtures, doors, windows, ceilings, and walls.
- Check to make sure that your fireplace dampers are closed when not in use.
- Make sure that all of your appliances and HVAC systems are maintained properly. Check the owner’s manuals to make sure that you are doing the proper maintenance.
- Study the lighting needs of your family and search for ways to use controls such as timers, dimmers, or sensors to reduce the use of lighting.