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No-Cost Low-Cost Tips for Saving Money & Energy
There are many ways to save money and energy around the house. Many of these can be acheived with little or no money at all. Click on the learn more link below to find out what you can do around your house to help.
NO-COST WAYS TO SAVE ENERGY &
- Turn off everything not in
use: lights, TVs, computers, etc.
- Check the furnace or air
conditioner (AC) filter each month, and clean or
replace it as needed. Dirty filters block air
flow through your heating and cooling systems,
increasing your energy bill and shortening the
- During hot months, keep
window coverings closed on the south, east, and
west windows. In winter, let the sun in.
- Glass fireplace doors help
stop heat from being lost up the chimney. Also,
close the fireplace damper when not in use.
- Activate "sleep" features on
computers and office equipment that power down
when not in use for a while. Turn off equipment
during longer periods of non-use to cut energy
costs and improve longevity.
- When cooking, keep the lids
on pots. Better yet, use a microwave oven
- Dress appropriately for the
weather, and set your thermostat to the lowest
possible comfortable setting. On winter nights,
put an extra blanket on the bed and turn down
your thermostat more.
- In summer, use fans whenever
possible instead of AC, and ventilate at night
this way when practical. Using fans to
supplement AC allows you to raise the thermostat
temperature, using less energy. Fans cost less
to use than AC.
- About 15 percent of an
average home energy bill goes to heating water.
To save hot water, take five-minute showers
instead of baths. Do only full loads when using
the clothes washer or dishwasher.
- Switch to cold water washing
of laundry in top loading in top-loading,
energy-inefficient washing machines to save
energy and up to $63 a year—detergents
formulated for cold water get clothes just as
- Lower the temperature on your
water heater. It should be set at “warm,” so
that a thermometer held under running water
reads no more than 120 degrees.
- Only heat or cool the rooms
you need—close vents and doors of unused rooms.
LOW-COST WAYS TO SAVE
ENERGY & MONEY
- Install low-flow showerheads
and sink aerators to reduce hot water use.
- Seal and weatherstrip your
windows and doors to ensure that you're not
wasting energy on heat or air conditioning that
escapes through leaks to the outdoors.
- A water tank insulation wrap
costs about $20 and helps hold the heat inside.
Add pre-cut pipe insulation to exposed pipes
going into your water heater—it is cheap and
easy to install. If you’re starting with an
uninsulated tank, the energy savings should pay
for the improvements in just a few months.
- Duct tape works well on lots
of things, but it often fails when used on
ductwork! Use mastic (a gooey substance applied
with a paintbrush) to seal all exposed ductwork
joints in areas such as the attic, crawlspace,
or basement. Insulate ducts to improve your
heating system’s efficiency and your own
- Storm windows can reduce heat
lost by single-paned windows by 25–50 percent
during the winter. As an alternative, you can
improve your windows temporarily with plastic
sheeting installed on the inside.
- When buying new products,
look for the ENERGY STAR® label, found on more
than 40 different products such as TVs,
furnaces, cell phones, refrigerators, air
conditioners and more.
- Incandescent light bulbs are
outdated; 95 percent of the energy used goes to
heating the bulb, adding unwanted heat to your
home in the summer. Replace your five most used
light bulbs with ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent
bulbs to save $60 each year in energy costs.
These light bulbs use two-thirds less energy and
last up to 10 times longer. Use dimmers, timers,
and motion detectors on indoor and outdoor
- Consider safer, more
efficient ENERGY STAR torchiere lamps rather
than halogen torchieres, which can cause fires.
Halogen bulbs are expensive to use.
THE ULTIMATE CHECKLIST:
For Saving Money by Reducing Energy Bills
WEATHERIZE & INSULATE
Save up to 20 percent of your heating and
- Warm air leaking into
your home during the summer and out of your
home during the winter wastes money. A handy
homeowner can seal up holes to the outside
by weatherstripping doors and sealing
windows and other gaps along the home’s
foundation. A combination of air sealing and
adding insulation to attics, basements, and
crawlspaces provides tremendous energy
savings and increased comfort.
- The easiest and most
cost-effective way to insulate your home is
to add insulation in the attic. If you have
less than 6 or 7 inches, you can probably
benefit by adding more. Most U.S. homes
should have between R-38 and R-49 attic
insulation. In order to achieve this, many
homeowners should add between R-19 to R-30
insulation (about 6 to 10 inches).
- Other effective places to
add insulation include unfinished basement
walls and crawlspaces. Insulating walls can
be more complex, but it can be worthwhile to
do if you have little or no insulation now.
Check with a contractor for advice.
- Consider the ENERGY STAR®
Home Sealing Program—the government’s
information for sealing your home:
IMPROVE YOUR APPLIANCES &
Appliances account for about 20 percent of
household energy use.
- Appliances and
electronics really add up on your energy
bill. When it is time to replace, remember
these items have two price tags: purchase
price and lifetime energy cost. When
shopping for new appliances (refrigerator,
dishwasher, etc.) and electronics (TV,
computer, etc.), demand the ENERGY STAR
label. ENERGY STAR is the government’s
rating program that shows you which items
are more efficient than typical models.
ENERGY STAR items will save you money over
the product’s useful life.
IMPROVE YOUR WINDOWS
Efficient windows can lower your heating and
cooling bills up to 30 percent.
- If your home has only
single pane windows, consider replacing them
with low-e coated or ENERGY STAR windows.
Alternatively, storm windows can reduce your
winter heat loss by 25–50 percent.
IMPROVE YOUR MECHANICAL SYSTEMS
Up to half of your energy bill goes just for
heating and cooling.
- Turn your heating or
cooling down every night and whenever you
leave home. Better yet—install an ENERGY
STAR programmable thermostat and save about
$100 each year; it adjusts the temperature
automatically for you.
- When it’s time to replace
your hot water tank, buy the most efficient
one possible. Consider a tankless, on-demand
system (these won’t work for everyone, so
talk to your installer).
- An ENERGY STAR qualified
furnace, when properly sized and installed,
along with sealed ducts and a programmable
thermostat, can save up to 20 percent on
- When buying a new AC
unit, look for a SEER (Seasonal Energy
Efficiency Rating) of 13 or higher on
central systems and the ENERGY STAR label on
room units. In arid climates, evaporative
coolers are much more efficient (and less
costly) than AC. They also add needed
moisture to the air, while AC units further
dry the air.
- Adding area heaters to
warm just the occupied rooms in your home
will enable you to keep the rest of your
home at cooler, more economical
Save $100-$250 each year.
- Trees that lose their
leaves in the fall give protection from the
summer sun and permit winter sunlight to
reach and warm your home. Plant trees on the
south, east, and/or west sides of your home.
Be sure to shade the AC unit. Create a
windbreak with evergreen trees and shrubs to
stop chilling winds.
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