Energy Savings at Home
There are a number of steps you can take to use less energy in your homes and save money on fuel bills.
Below are some great home energy savings ideas to increase your home energy efficiency and the size of your bank account.
“Small” Energy Savings Ideas with Good Size Savings
- Set your thermostat just a degree higher for air conditioning and a degree lower for heating, and you could save $100 per year.
- Get an annual check-up of your heating system. You want to run your system at is peak efficiency so it uses less fuel.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going. An open damper can let 8% of the heat in your home escape.
- Buy a permanent home air-filter than can be washed and reused indefinitely. Wash it once a month to keep the air flowing. You’ll save energy and keep old filters out of landfills.
- Set your water heater’s temperature to no more than 120 degrees.
- If your water heater’s storage tank is warm to the touch, insulating it could save 4-9% a year in water-heating costs.
- Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; they will operate more efficiently.
- Wash your laundry in cold water (and keep it just as clean) and you could save 90% of the energy used with hot cycles.
- Turn off kitchen, bath and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after use.
- Use your curtains for extra insulation, keep them closed when it’s sunny in the summer and cold in the winter, and you could reduce your energy needs by 25%.
- Take a shorter shower; every two minutes eliminated can conserve 10 gallons of water.
“Big” Energy Savings Ideas with Big Savings
- Upgrade your burner — a modern burner can cut costs by 15%.
- Replace old, inefficient furnaces or water heaters. Home heating accounts for 60% of at-home energy use. Make sure your equipment is efficient.
- Remove window air conditioners. If this isn’t possible, encase units with a thick layer of fiberglass insulation and then seal them with polyethylene sheeting and duct tape to keep out moisture.
- If you have older, drafty windows replace or seal them.
- Install weather stripping on drafty doors and windows. Storm doors and windows should have weather stripping on all moveable joints.
- Use low-cost, high-density foam gaskets to seal light switches and electrical sockets.
- Fill large gaps in your walls with expanding foam insulation before the cold season starts.
- Use low-flow showerheads and tap aerators to save 50% more water. Without these water-saving measures, a household of four people taking daily 5-minute showers consumes a lifetime supply of drinking water for one person every 6 months.
Information on this web page came from the following sources:
The Green Book, by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen