60+ Home Energy Saving Tips You can do Right Now
Below is a list of energy savings tips that you can do right now to start saving energy and money on utility bills. Not all of them will be applicable to you. We suggest picking out a handful and trying them out. Once you get used to doing those things start doing a few more and so on.
- Seal all penetrations in the ceiling to attic that might leak air (light fixtures, plumbing, ducting...) with caulk or expanding foam.
- Check and fix/replace weather stripping around doors and windows.
- Check and fix/replace caulking on outside of the house, windows, doors, and other trim. Recheck every ~2 years.
- Use magnetic weather stripping for exterior steel doors.
- Use window film kits to stop air leakage around windows, and improve insulation value.
- Use removable caulk to stop air leakage around windows.
- Do a DIY home leakage test or have a professional energy audit done to identify problem areas.
- Seal the rim joist in the basement (the board on top of the concrete).
- Seal any outside penetrations in the wall (electrical, plumbing, ducting).
- Seal and insulate the attic access door.
- Install power switch and outlet gaskets.
- Turn your furnace thermostat temperature down as much as is comfortable.
- Wear appropriate clothing for the season (bundle up in winter, dress light in summer).
- Seal ducting with aluminum tape or duct mastic. Do not use duct tape.
- Insulate ducting that is not in conditioned space (attic/basement).
- Use a programmable thermostat. It will easily pay for itself in a few months.
- Open blinds/shades during the day to let solar light/heat in, close them once the sun goes down to stay warmer.
- Have a professional come out and inspect/clean/tune up your natural gas / LPG furnace every ~2 years.
- Make/buy interior storm windows to increase a window's R value.
- Make/buy window quilts or insulating blinds to increase a window's R value.
- Make/buy insulating window curtains to increase a window's R value.
- Use an electric blanket to allow you to turn down the temperature more at night and still stay comfortable.
- Use a humidifier to ensure proper levels of humidity in the house. This will allow you to turn down the temperature farther and still be comfortable.
- Remove window screens in winter to let more sun light through windows. Screens block 1/3rd of the light coming through the window.
- Use ceiling fans on low to mix the air in the room up to prevent hot air from staying up near the ceiling.
- Close off rooms and their vents if they aren't being used regularly.
- Change your furnace filter regularly. The rule of thumb is change it monthly.
- Clean your furnace's/boiler's heat exchanger before each heating season. The built up dust and grime reduce its efficiency.
- Put a radiant barrier behind the radiators to reflect heat into the room.
- Clean your windows before winter. It will let more light & heat in.
- Turn the A/C thermostat temperature up as high as is comfortable, sometimes using the A/C just to dehumidify the house may be enough to be comfortable.
- Use blinds (good) or awnings (better) to block direct sunlight.
- Use reflective window film to block direct sunlight but still let light in the house.
- If possible, open the house up at night and use box fans in windows or a whole house fan to cool the house down instead of relying on the A/C.
- Install radiant barrier insulation in your attic.
- Place window A/C units on the north side of the house or any place where the sun does not shine on them.
- Use fans to allow you to increase the A/C temperature and still stay comfortable.
- Use solar screens to block more sun from entering through the window. This still provides light but reduces direct sun light and the heat it brings.
Water Conservation & Domestic Hot Water
- Turn your water heater temperture down as much as possible while still having enough hot water for a shower.
- Add additional insulation your hot water tank.
- Put a timer on your hot water tank.
- Install heat traps on tank style water heaters.
- Insulate hot water lines.
- Turn off the water heater when you are away for extended periods of time.
- Use low flow showerheads and faucet aerators to reduce water usage.
- Install a dual flush conversion kit on your toilet.
- Put a brick or something else in your toilet's water tank to displace the amount of water used per flush.
- Plug the tub and let it fill with water as you take your shower. Leave the water in the tub until it has cooled down (heating your house) instead of letting that heat go down the drain.
- Turn the water off when not needed while showering, just use it for rinsing.
- Wash your hands with water in bucket/basin and use that water to flush the toilet.
- Turn lights off when nobody is in the room.
- Use CFL or LED lighting.
- Find phantom loads with a kill a watt, or other energy meter.
- Unplug electronics when not in use. A powerstrip makes this easier.
- Use a smart power strip to kill phantom loads. This is especially useful for tv and computer setups.
- Turn tv and computer screen brightness down as much as possible. Increasing contrast helps negate the lower brightness.
- Turn your refridgerator temperature up to ~40F and freezer temperature up to ~0F.
- Add additional insulation to your refrigerator.
- Turn your freezer into a super efficient refrigerator.
- Wash clothes with cold water whenever possible.
- Use a clothes line to dry your clothes when possible.
- Only do full loads of laundry.
- Make sure the exhaust ducting for the dryer is clean. This can slow drying as well as become a fire hazard.
- Use a microwave when possible, it is more efficient at heating than most other forms of heating food.
- When cooking on a stove top, cover pots and pans to retain heat. This works great for boiling water.
- When cooking in an oven, the heat can be turned off before the food is fully cooked. The remaining heat will finish the cooking process.
- Studies show that using a dishwasher is more efficient than the average joe washing dishes. Users on EcoRenovator think that hand washing can be more efficient if done carefully.
- Only do full loads of dishes in the dishwasher.
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