Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends more than $1,600 a year on home utility bills? Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. And electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. The good news is, there is a lot you can do to save energy and money at home. Start making small changes today (see the energy saving tips below).
The key to achieving these energy savings in your home is a whole-house energy efficiency plan. To take a whole-house approach, view your home as an energy system with interdependent parts. For example, your heating system is not just a furnace—it's a heat-delivery system that starts at the furnace and delivers heat throughout your home using a network of ducts. Even a top-of-the-line, energy-efficient furnace will burn a lot of fuel if the ducts, walls, attic, windows, and doors are not insulated and/or leak. Taking a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars you invest to save energy are spent wisely.
Energy-efficient home improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they can yield long-term financial rewards. Reduced utility bills more than make up for the higher price of energy-efficient appliances and home improvements over their lifetimes. In addition, your home could bring in a higher resale price when you sell. The easy, practical solutions for saving energy include tips you can use today, throughout your home—from the roof, walls, and insulation that enclose it to the appliances and lights inside.
Energy Savings Tips
- Below is a list of easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy and money:
- Set your thermostat comfortably low in the winter and comfortably high in the summer. Install a programmable thermostat that is compatible with your heating and cooling system.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in all the rooms of your house.
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
- Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120° F.
- Take short showers instead of baths.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and electronics.