Home Owners – Free Info to Save Money on Energy
If a home owner has just $1,000 to spend on energy-efficient home improvements, what would you recommend he or she do first?
1.Caulk and seal all penetrations into the home. Whether you hire someone to do a home energy audit, or do it yourself, there are penetrations all around your home. If you have a crawlspace or basement, check the penetrations from plumbing lines and electricity wires. You may be shocked at all the gaping holes in your house. Buy a few cans of Great Stuff and take a weekend to go around and seal everything, filling around windows, too. It takes time and it’s a pain, but it works.
2. Hire an HVAC contractor to take a hard look at all your ductwork — are there any ducts leaking that need to be re-sealed? — and give you an HVAC tune-up. You might spend a couple hundred bucks, but you can save significantly depending on how old or out of shape your HVAC system is.
3. Replace all your lighting with CFLs or LEDs. Most people tell us they’ve replaced all their incandescents, but it just isn’t true. The DOE says that only about 13% of sockets are filled with CFLs right now.
4. Program your thermostat. Most people who buy programmable thermostats don’t program them. If we actually programmed them not to heat the furniture while we’re away, that would be smart.
5. Reduce the temperature on your water heater. The Department of Energy recommends 120 degrees. If you have a tank water heater, it keeps a certain amount of water hot and ready to go all day, so lowering the temperature reduces the energy you use to heat the water.
If, after you’ve done all those relatively low-cost things, you want to make a little bit more of an investment, consider adding insulation to your house.