Useful energy-saving projects for your home
Renovating your home to save energy doesn’t have to involve a major remodeling project. The following fast and easy energy-saving projects can help reduce your energy consumption and carbon footprint – and even your monthly energy bill!
- Manage energy use of electronics. Most of us leave our computers, tablets, routers, and printers plugged in and operating 24/7, even though they are only used a fraction of the day. To save energy, try to plug as many similar electronics into the same power strip as possible, such as computers and printers on one power strip and the television and gaming system on another. When not in use simply flip the switch to power off the strip; this one small step can save the most homeowners 1,780 kWh, which averages to about $178 per year!
Initial cost: $15
Labor: 1 hour
One year savings: $178
- Install compact fluorescent bulbs. If many of your bulbs are still incandescent, switching entirely to compact fluorescent lights can create serious savings. With a wider variety of CFLs than ever before it is easy to find bulbs in a variety of sizes, styles, and wattages at most home improvement stores. Many utilities also offer additional rebates for using CFLs in your home.
Initial cost: $50
Labor: 2 hours
One year savings: $115
- Lower the temperature on the water heater. Most water heaters come set to a standard 140ºF. However, few households require the water to be this hot, only needing a more mild 120ºF. Not only does leaving the water temperature too high lead to energy loss, but it can cause mineral building and corrosion in the water heater and pipes as well as scald you and your family. Lowering the water temperature [https://energy.gov/energysaver/projects/savings-project-lower-water-heating-temperature] protects your family while saving energy.
Initial cost: $0
Labor: 2 hours
One year savings: 4-22%
- Add film to windows. Windows that are frosted or have a darkening film can cut radiant heat transfer through the glass by as much as 50%. In addition, window film adds privacy, strengthens glass, reduces glare, and minimizes UV exposure to furnishings. Adding window film is a great way to make windows more energy efficient when they can’t afford to be replaced.With window film starting around $1.50/square foot, it is a more affordable option than a $700 new window.
Initial cost: $1.50-$8/square foot
Labor: 2+ hours
One year savings: 50% radiant heat transfer