There are a lot of things you can do to conserve energy around your home, but first, you’ll need to figure out where your biggest energy losses are occurring. Conserving energy helps stretch your budget and lower your bills. It’s also good for the environment. Let’s focus on the biggest energy losers and what you can do about them.
The largest energy user and loser in most homes is the boiler and heating system. Here are some suggestions on how to conserve energy (and money) on your heating:
Keep the thermostat set to 68 degrees F or lower if your health will permit it.
Lower your thermostat at night and when you are not home.
Have a professional come into tune-up your heating system every other year. This will also help in preventive maintenance, which conserves energy as well.
If your boiler is older, have it replaced by a 90% efficiency boiler.
If you are remodelling, put radiant heating on the list as it cuts energy costs in half.
What is your insulation like? Attics and walls account for 30% of energy losses in the home. You can cut that number in half or more if you follow these tips:
If your attic is not insulated or has less than seven inches of insulation, add more.
If your walls, particularly walls connected with the outdoors, are not insulated, add insulation to the cavities between the studs. Insulate interior walls as well to help maintain indoor air temperature more easily (your heater/ac won’t have to work so hard, thus conserving energy).
You’ve probably seen the adverts claiming you can save up to 45% on your heating and air conditioning bill by replacing all of your windows with more energy-efficient ones. The commercials aren’t entirely right. Replacing all of your windows could save you that much, but it will more likely only save you 10-15% on your bills which means it could take you as many as thirty years to get a return on your investment. Rather than replacing all of your windows, replace the ones you know are the least energy-efficient then try out the tips below:
Re-caulk windows inside and out to help stop air leaks. Air leaks account for 28% of all energy losses in the home.
Use soft window treatments like curtains to help prevent energy loss through the glass of less than efficient windows.
Keep windows covered during the brightest part of the day in summer and during the night in winter to prevent energy loss.
Your refrigerator, dryer, and small appliances you leave plugged in constantly are eating up energy like a child in a candy store. Follow the tips below to make your appliances more energy-efficient:
- Replace your regular light bulbs for LED light bulbs. LED bulbs are very energy-efficient but still maintain the look and feel of an incandescent bulb. LED bulbs use more than 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. At low power levels, the difference is even larger. Bright LED flood lamps use only 11 to 12 watts while creating a light output comparable to a 50-watt incandescent bulb
- Replace your old electric dryer with a gas dryer. Gas dryers save on energy and work better on your clothes than electric dryers do. Better still, don’t use a dryer. There are some great heated maidens now that use very little energy and money or dry on a regular maiden.
- If your refrigerator was built before 1990, replace it with an energy-star fridge. Older refrigerators can use three times as much energy as the ones being produced today.
- Anything that is plugged in uses power even when it is shut off. Unplug and conserve energy.
- When purchasing new appliances, always buy energy-star appliances, and do your research beforehand. Not all energy-star appliances are created equal. Some use less energy than the national energy-star standard calls for.