Home Energy Savings Tips

By Todd Fratzel on Energy Conservation, Home Improvement Cost Savings

Saving Energy In Your Home

Winter SunriseWith winter knocking at the doorstep and soaring energy costs I thought it was a good time to review some home energy savings tips. Home energy costs make up a significant portion of every households budget. Every home has uses energy in the form of electricity and fuels such as oil, gas, propane and wood.

So in order to save money this winter you’ll want to try and reduce your energy consumption in each area if possible. In this post I’ll suggest methods of reducing your energy demand for electricity and fuel.

Electricity Conservation

Probably the easiest place to save money on your homes energy use is by reducing the electricity consumption. The easiest way to reduce electricity usage is by turning off lights that are not being used. Each year we waste a tremendous amount of electricity by leaving lights on in rooms we are not occupying. So try to get in the habit of turning off lights each time you leave a room.

Another way to significantly reduce electricity usage is by converting your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs. You can save money with CFL’s in a rather short period of time. Today’s CFL’s are very affordable and available in many shapes, styles and colors. For example, you can buy the GE 13-Watt Energy SmartTM – 8 Pack – 60 watt ouput from Amazon for $12.69 or $1.59 each. The beauty of switching to CFL’s is the bulbs last 8 times longer than an incandescent bulb.

One of the biggest “wastes” of electricity in our homes today are electronics that use power even when they are switched “off”. Computers, TV’s, DVD players, printers, fax machines and many more consumer electronics all use power even when they are switched “off”. An easy way to save electricity is by using a Smart Strip LCG3 Energy Saving With Autoswitching Technology. These new technology power strips monitor the electronics connected to them and completely shut down the power when the electronics are switched off. This prevents wasting electricity when you turn off your TV, computer and other electronics.

Fuel Conservation

The biggest use of home energy is due to heating and cooling our homes. The easiest way to reduce your home energy usage and conserve fuel is by using a programmable thermostat. Installing programmable thermostats is a really easy home improvement project that pays dividends. Programmable thermostats range in price from about $40 up to $500. I recommend the Honeywell Focus Pro 6000 from Amazon for $52.

The key to saving money with a programmable thermostat is to turn down the heat or air conditioning when you’re not in the room or awake. By turning back the temperature 10 to 15 degrees when you sleep or are away you’ll be able to save 10% to 15% annually on energy costs. With the cost of fuel today that savings will more than pay for the cost of the programmable thermostat.

Another popular way to save home energy costs is by using window treatments to save heat. Thermal Curtains are very reasonably priced and decorative. Think of window treatments as putting on a sweater or jacket when you’re cold. In the summer time window treatments can help keep out the hot as well.

Fireplace flues are one of the biggest reasons for heat loss in a home. When the flue is open heat from your home can vent out through it almost as fast as you make more. Think of an open flue as having a window wide open in your home. The simplest way to remedy this problem is by installing a Chimney Balloon® in the flue when you’re not using the fireplace. These inexpensive inflatable balloons prevent heat from rising up the flue and out of your house.

Another simple yet effective way of reducing your home energy use is from air sealing. Foam Guns are really great for spraying foam into small gaps, crevices and spaces in your houses frame. Take the time to seal around utility penetrations, door and window openings and any place you can see or feel air movement. Caulking around window and door trim will also help seal your home from drafts and cold air.

Home Energy Savings Tips Summary

Home energy savings can be accomplished with lots of small easy to do home improvement projects. By tackling several of these easy projects each year you’ll be able to reduce your energy consumption and ease the pain on your wallet.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the author of Tool Box Buzz and Today's Green Construction. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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7 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you! I purchased 3 power strips after reading your post. I’m sure they will save quite a bit of energy in my electronics loaded household.

  2. Glyphrunner says:

    I was wondering, do you have any suggestions on the power strips idea? I’m just always looking to compare products.

  3. Todd says:

    @ glyphrunner – This is the only power strip that I know of with this technology. I’m sure it won’t be long before there are others on the market though!

  4. mike says:

    Great article, I’m going to go through it again later in more depth. I found an interesting product called a fridge coil cleaning brush, (along with a lot of the products you’re recommending) here: http://eartheasy.com/shop/energy_efficiency.html

    what do you think of it?

  5. Amanda says:

    Thank you for the good information in this article. I especially liked the idea of thermal curtains. It was the first time I heard of this concept.

  6. butterfly valves says:

    great energy saving tips. we all have to be serious regarding this matter and your post is really helpful…

  7. Steel Windows says:

    Thanks for this very great article. It’s very informative and helpful.

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