Whether you are going green or trying to save some green, home energy efficiency is a hot topic. According to data provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, nearly 40% of all emissions of carbon dioxide by the U.S. are the result of using energy to heat, cool and produce hot water for buildings. Saving the planet and your bank account doesn’t mean going off the grid, below are a few ways you can increase home energy efficiency.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY TIPS
- Programmable thermostats are one of the easiest ways to save money. If properly programmed, a thermostat can save a home owner up to $150 a year.
- Use ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs. Lighting your house can make up 10 percent of your energy costs. Save up to 75 percent of that energy by replacing incandescent bulbs with LED or CFL lights
- When your appliances are no longer working, upgrade to ENERGY STAR appliances. Household appliances account for about 13% of the average home electric bill. ENERGY STAR appliances use 10-20% less energy than standard appliances.
- Wash your clothes in cold water. Ditching the hot water can save you around $60 a year.
- Air dry your dishes rather than using the dishwashers drying cycle. Not using the dry feature can save 15-50% of the energy a dishwasher uses.
- Unplug chargers when not in use. Most chargers still draw power even if the device is fully charged or not connected
- Reduce the temperature on your water heater. Potential annual savings for every 10ºF you reduce the temperature is between $12-$30 a year.
- Insulate your heating ducts. Some 20-30% of air moving through the ducts is released through leaks
- Turn off incandescent lights when you are not in the room. 90% of the energy they use is given off as heat, and only about 10% results in light.
- Install ceiling fans in each room, or use floor fans during the summer. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort
- Weatherize your house. If your house is a little older, its likely air is creeping in through windows and doors.
- Take shorter showers (Woof, right?). If you shower once a day you can save 1,825 gallons annually by reducing your showers by 2 minutes per day.