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Simple Solutions for Home Energy Loss

Almost every home has energy loss problems that can be solved with easy, do-it-yourself solutions. Everyone is eager to cut a few dollars off that monthly energy bill and help the environment in the process.  Here are some simple solutions to your home energy loss problems.

  1. Use the sun to your advantage by keeping blinds/drapes open during the winter. In the summer, close those blinds or drapes to keep heat out.
  2. Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically cool or heat the house only when necessary. This way, you cut down on unnecessary heating and cooling.
  3. Make sure you fireplace is not draining the heat/cool air from your house. Make sure your damper is working and closed (when the fireplace isn’t in use, of course). Take it one step further and install a chimney cap to further insulate. Another option is to put in a glass fireplace door.
  4. Use dimmer switches on your lights so that you have more control over how much electricity you use.
  5. Install fluorescent light bulbs and LED’s whenever possible. There is a whole array of new light bulb technology out there. While you may spend a little more upfront, the new bulb will last you significantly longer than a traditional one.
  6. Change the air filters in your heat pump or furnace regularly. This allows your furnace to do less work for the same amount of heat.
  7. Check for leaks in your heat ducts (see my DIY home energy audit checklist or contact a professional contractor for an audit).
  8. Apply weather stripping or caulking around all doors and windows.  Check for leaks by using a match or incense stick and watching the flow of the smoke.
  9. Make sure that nothing is blocking your heating vents so that air flows evenly throughout the house. Alternately, close off ducts and vents in unoccupied rooms.
  10. Replace old appliances – especially refrigerators which claim up to 20% of your total energy use.
  11. Use cold water to clean your clothes. This will save you 80-85% of the energy you use on laundry.
  12. Plant trees around your house, strategically to insulate from cold breezes and to add shade for cooling off in the summer.
  13. Unplug battery charges that aren’t in use. Your cell phone charger is using electricity even if your phone is not plugged in!
  14. Turn off the lights when you’re not in the room.  This is a no-brainer. Install motion detectors or timers outside so you don’t have your lights on 24/7.