Saving Energy

20 Aug, 2010

We’ve all heard that we, as a nation, need to be saving energy to save the planet. And that is a good thing. But saving energy can have a benefit that is much closer to home, saving you money. There are many areas where you can save money by saving energy in your home, and cumulatively they will add up to significant savings. Let’s highlight a few.

Adequate insulation. Adding attic insulation will be the way that you can save the most energy the quickest. In most areas of the country an R30 toR40 layer of insulation is recommended to adequately insulate your attic. Since most of your heat escapes through the roof, this is an area where you need to concentrate your efforts to insulate.

Weather stripping doors and windows. Doors and windows are notorious for having air leaks which allow heat to escape. There are many types of weather stripping available, each having its advantages and disadvantages. I, personally, like self adhesive foam strips because they are cheap and easily applied, while also being very effective.

Programmable thermostats. Lowering your thermostat while you are sleeping or out of the house will save you significant amounts on your heating bill. Installing a programmable thermostat and setting it lower at night, but then warming your house before you awake in the morning will save you money, yet keep your home comfortable when you are awake. Lowering the temperature while you are at work during the day, then warming the house before you get home is a great way to save energy, also.

Insulate hot water pipes. Insulating your water heater with a water heater thermal wrap, and insulating the hot water pipes with tubular foam wraps will significantly reduce your hot water energy requirements. Taking showers back to back (I mean sequentially, not sharing, though that’s OK too.) will also save on hot water usage.

Installing fluorescent light bulbs. This simple change will save you money on your electric bill, by reducing the amount of electricity used to produce the same amount of light. Fluorescent light bulbs last much longer than incandescent bulbs, so you save money on the purchase of the bulbs, also.

Little things that add up to real savings.

Turn off lights, computers, TV’s, and appliances when not in use. Insulate electrical outlets on exterior walls. Drying several loads of clothes in a row will decrease energy required to heat a cold dryer for each load. Replace old appliances with new, energy efficient appliances. Control solar heat with window drapes, opening them during the day to capture heat and close them at night to reduce heat loss.

I’m sure you can find other areas where you can be saving energy and money. You aren’t limited to the ideas presented here.