I’ve recently been blogging about my experience getting an energy audit for my home
and how we responded to what the auditors found
. Many people think that addressing energy problems in your home is expensive. What I learned during this process is that there are lots of things you can do that are easy on the wallet; and several things that don’t cost a dime.
Check out my list of 21 ways to decrease your energy bill and your impact on the environment:
7 free ways: No excuses here!
• Keep your thermostat at 68 in winter and 78 in summer (and dress appropriately for the weather of the season).
• Set your hot water heater at 120 degrees: each 10 degree reduction saves you up to 5% on your bill.
• Avoid using the ‘heated dry’ cycle on the dishwasher – just let them air dry
• Conserve water – wash clothes on cold and shorten your shower: this reduces your bill and your impact on a very limited resource.
• Line dry your laundry when the weather is nice.
• Use a ceiling fan in the summer and wear an extra layer in the winter.
• Unplug your electronics
when not in use: anything with a LED light glowing (e.g., cell phone charger, computer monitor, etc.) is drawing power even if it is not ‘on.’
7 cheap ways: Small investment, big payoff
• Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent. (Cost: each bulb can save up to $40 over lifetime of bulb and lasts 10 times longer)
• Make sure all your windows and doors are well sealed with caulking or or weatherstripping. (Cost: Less than $100)
• Make sure your plumbing and wiring penetrations are sealed. (Cost: Less than $50)
• Get your heating and cooling system serviced annually to maintain and monitor efficiency. (Cost: The average service call is $75)
• Insulate your hot water heater (Cost: $10, savings up to 9% on your water heating bill)
• Insulate your air compressor and hot water piping. (Cost: Less than $50)
• Change your air filters at least every 3 months. (Cost: $2.50 per filter)
7 tips for the big ticket items:
• Follow Department of Energy guidelines on insulation – check out the map
• When replacing your roof, choose the lightest roof color you can handle aesthetically – this will keep the house 10-15% cooler in the summer.
• Get your ducts inspected and repair any holes or faulty connections.
• Because hot water heaters
are the second largest energy user – it is important to explore your options when replacing a worn-out unit.