Home Energy Efficiency Made Easy!

water heater blanketOur homes use a lot of energy and a lot of it is used inefficiently.  You can conserve energy in your home by starting with some quick changes around the house or go even greener and make some larger and cost-effective changes to your home.  Conserving energy and water means can save you money too!

Here are some quick and easy fixes:

Think Water! Water usage and heating relates directly to energy efficiency

  • Fix Leaks! Check your sinks for drips and use food coloring for an easy toilet leak test.  Just put 5-6 drops of food coloring in your toilet tank.  Check back in a half hour and if you see any colored water in your toilet bowl, you have a leak! Watch this video to see an example.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water. You don’t need hot water to clean your clothes and it takes a lot of energy to heat water.

Heat and cool your home efficiently

  • Dollar bill test- a dollar bill sticking out of a refrigerater Install a programmable thermostat to regulate your home’s temperature settings. Remember your thermostat is not a throttle like the gas pedal in your car; cranking your thermostat at 80 degrees won’t heat your house to 70 degrees any faster.
  • Check refrigerator seals to make sure they are sealed tightly with a dollar bill test. Close your refrigerator door on a dollar bill. If you can move a dollar bill through the closed door, the seal is not tight enough and you should replace the seals.
  • Set the refrigerator temperature between 36 and 42 degrees. Set the freezer control so the temperature is between -5 and 6 degrees. Many of our refrigerators are colder than they need to be.
  • Find ten DIY tips (pdf) for winterizing your home, including insulating your water heater, checking electrical plates for leaks, and wrapping pipes.

Install energy efficient appliances and light bulbs

  • Install compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs or LED light bulbs to cut down on your energy bill.
  • Use EnergyStar products. They generally use 20-30% less energy than the federally-required standard.