Energy saving tips

By on 02/01/2008

1. Seal leaky ductwork
More than 20 percent of the average home’s heating and cooling bills go to duct leakage. Seal your ducts with mastic to minimize the waste of conditioned air.

2. Service your home’s heating and cooling (HVAC) system
Clean the unit and replace filters in the furnace and humidifier to ensure the equipment is running at its most cost-efficient and at optimum capacity.

3. Install a programmable thermostat
When used properly, a programmable thermostat with four temperature settings can save up to $150 a year in energy costs.

4. Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if every American household replaced just one incandescent with a CFL, we could save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, save more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse-gas emissions equivalent to that of some 800,000 cars.

5. Buy appliances and electronics with the Energy Star label
Energy Star-certified refrigerators use 15 percent less energy; dishwashers use 25 percent less; and washing machines use up to 50 percent less.

6. Add weather stripping around doors and windows
Use of door thresholds, window caulking and plastic window film could save up to 20 percent of energy costs with an investment of as little as $25.

7. Properly insulate attics and roofs
Heat rises. If there isn’t enough insulation in the space above your house, your money is literally going out the roof. Most ceilings or attic spaces should have about 10 inches of insulation.

8. Change faucets and showerheads to low-flow
If your bathroom was designed before 1992, your showerhead probably puts out 5 gallons of water a minute, so a 10-minute shower can use 50 gallons of water! Low-flow showerheads can cut that water usage in half.

9. Install a tankless water heater
By creating hot water on demand, as opposed to continuously heating stored water, homeowners can save hundreds of dollars over time.

10. Wash laundry with cold water when possible
Washing full loads instead of partial loads can save you some 3,400 gallons of water per year. Meanwhile, washing with cold water can save the average household up to $400 annually.