Home Energy Savings Tips That Work



The home energy savings arena is where you take control of your energy use. Whether you're just trying to cut your expenses or your making the move to total energy independence there are many important areas to consider that will produce great savings.



For the most part reclaiming wasted energy also produces the biggest return on your investment.

Making your claim to home energy savings in this way is relatively easy, inexpensive, and will increase your comfort level while saving you money.

You win – you win,

That's a good deal.

Increasing energy efficiency is important as well but needs to be looked at with a more critical eye to guarantee real returns on your investments. We'll talk about that more in the particular areas of expense.

While there are many ways you can save, it makes the most sense to start where you get the biggest bang for your buck. In order to take a best bet stab at the best ROI you need to take a look at where your home energy dollars are going.

Where do the energy dollars go?

Here is a pie chart I found on the DOE website that illustrates where the energy dollars are spent in the typical American home.

Learn how you can create a chart like this for your own energy use with a home energy monitor

We'll look at each area below, hopefully, in a way that helps you decide where to put your efforts to produce the greatest savings in home energy costs for your particular situation.

Space Heating and Cooling

As you can see from the chart, heating and cooling your home are the major expense. Fortunately many of the conditions that cause waste in either heating or cooling can be corrected in one operation. Sealing air leaks around doors and windows, installing insulation, weather stripping, etc., will produce home energy savings in the areas that are costing you the most.

Savings might also be provided by newer equipment (both heating and cooling) or even replacement windows. These are more costly investments and need to be looked at from a return on investment perspective before you can call any benefit a savings.

If you are in the market, or know you will be soon, for new heating or cooling equipment Energy Star rated equipment will give you good performance from traditional type appliances.

For alternative energy choices in heating and cooling your home you have, at the top of my list, passive solar energy techniques for heating and cooling. These are most easily used when they are part of the original design. Passive solar techniques pay the biggest dividends, are typically very low maintenence and once incorporated continue to provide warmth and cooling as long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

With some thought and careful planning passive techniques can be nicely incorporated into a retrofit or remodel of some homes.

Alternative fuels that produce heat or cooling directly include biomass, geothermal and others that are discussed in the pages of this website.

Water Heating

Water heating is a good place to save a sometimes significant amount of your energy bill quickly and easily. Do keep in mind that this is 12% of your total bill and the savings will be part of that 12% portion.

Controlling waste is very important here so fix those leaky faucets. Also, installing aerator type faucets and shower heads will use less water producing an almost effortless and inexpensive savings in your home energy costs.

Wash clothes in cold water to save a lot of water heating expense.

For your water heater – throw a jacket on it, These are inexpensive and easy to install and are most effective on older heaters that are still servicing you well.{{Amazon Store Link}}

When it comes time to replace it solar or biomass heaters may be an option to consider. Of course the Energy Star stuff is available for the more traditional install.

Lighting

The compact flourescents – curly bulbs – that we're getting used to seeing do save a significant amount of energy and dollars off your monthly bill. They are still quite expensive compared to an incandescent and do have a pay back time before you see real returns on your investment.

CFL's seem to last a long time but I've yet to see the advertised life span on any of them.

LED lighting still has a way to go in it's development for use in every day lighting applications. The bulbs are very expensive at this point in time. They will eventually save some dollars with an expected lifespan of 15 - 20 years or more and an operating cost of pennies per year compared to about thirty cents a day for a 100 watt incandescent..

At this stage of the game though you might want to try LED for specific uses but generally speaking the technology just isn't ready for all your lighting needs. For now LED lighting is best employed for use in decorative and spot lighting situations and the solar powered lawn and garden lights are a nice addition to exterior decor.

Computers and Electronics

Here we talk about your TV, stereo, home theatre systems, gaming consoles, your computer and it's related components.

Most of the computer equipment manufactured since the mid 90's is fairly energy smart using only the power management capabilities available with any modern operating system.

You see a lot of people touting "phantom loads" as a major way to save energy. I just don't see it and personally wouldn't go chasing after an extreme savings in this arena. For the most part "stand by" mode usually runs an led light and a memory chip. Neither are known as energy hogs and since you are looking for savings that will make a difference in your wallet your time and energy might be better spent elsewhere.

If you think there is an extremely wasteful situation with one of your pieces of equipment you can always check it with a P3. They're cheap, easy to use, and can be really useful when your looking at larger appliances.

Refrigeration

Cooling food and drinks can be costly if you use old equipment to do it. It can cost up to three to five times the energy consumption of more modern equipment.

If the refrigerators or freezers in your home are more than twelve years old it may benefit you to either eliminate or replace them. Honestly, if your equipment predates the latest minimum efficiency standards you can save energy by simply switching to a model manufactured after the standards were mandated.

If your equipment predates 1980 you will save incredible amounts of energy expense by replacing them with models manufactured after 1993 even if they do not carry the Energy Star label simply because of the minimum efficiency standards in effect.

You can get a generalized estimate of what it costs to run your older refrigerator or freezer by using this old refrigerator calculator.

Energy Star

Find out exactly what it's costing to run any of your electrical devices and create some easy home energy savings by using an inexpensive power monitor like the P3

Share Your Achievements With Home Energy Savings

More and more people are becoming aware of the importance of saving energy. Maybe you are one of them and you have a story to tell. Something you did at your house which was a great success? Or a big flop?

People will appreciate hearing about them and learning from your experiences.

You can even submit up to two photos which will appear as thumbnails but will enlarge when clicked on. Note: maximum size is 800 x 600 pixels.

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