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How Do I Make My Home More Efficient

Making your home more efficient can be done in many ways. First off to make your home more efficient you can update the electrical, plumbing, appliances and/or fixtures throughout your home to more energy efficient items. Fore example, a refrigerator that runs on less power, or a dishwasher that runs on less power, updated light fixtures that do not require the same demand from your electricity, lower wattage light bulbs in your light fixtures, new and improved tankless water heaters, high efficiency furnaces, and many, many more items can make your home more efficient.

High efficient homes are homes that run on less energy. The more efficient your home is, the more money you will save on your monthly bills. There are several things that you can do to make your home more efficient.

Think about replacing your old single pane windows with new energy efficient designs. Also, if you have had your heating and cooling system for awhile you should get a consultation on how a new system can save you money on your utility bills.

Ceiling fans can save energy in both the summer and winter. In the summer, fan blades should revolve in a counterclockwise direction. Since moving air feels cooler, using ceiling fans in the summer allows you to raise the thermostat temperature, reducing the workload of your air conditioner. Air conditioners use considerably more energy than ceiling fans.

Use heat-generating appliances such as washers, dryers or ovens during the cooler hours of the morning or evening. This reduces the load on your air conditioner in the summer, and actually helps heat the house in the winter.

Showers usually require less hot water than baths. Additional savings can be realized by installing simple water-saving shower heads. This will reduce water consumption, which is good for everyone. The primary benefit is lower heating bills brought about by using less energy to heat less water.

An inexpensive method of weatherizing windows involves attaching thin, clear plastic film to the window trim inside of the house using two-sided tape. The film is then stretched tight using heat from a blow dryer to remove wrinkles and creases.

Replacing your home electronics with energy star models, this will save you some money on your electricity bills as these products use less energy.

Something as simple as setting the thermostat to 68 in the winter and 72 in the summer can help save money on energy bills each month. Along with the conservative thermostat settings you should also use a high efficiency furnace filter and make sure to clean the filter or replace at at the specified intervals.

Try not to leave your bathroom fans running longer than necessary. Although they don't use a lot of electricity, they will pull the air out of your home. During the winter, this can let a lot of heat out.

Installing an electric or gas tankless water heater can help to make your house more efficient. Some benefits of a gas and electric tankless water heater are: Endless hot water, Small, compact, and powerful, 95% efficiency rating, reduced electricity costs, energy and fuel savings, heats water only when needed and a substantial amount of space savings.

Heat lost through windows and doors represents a significant chunk of most heating bills. You can help prevent this by covering your windows and sealing your doors. Remove and replace damaged caulk and weather-stripping. Self-stick foam and rolled rubber weather-stripping are easy to install, and can contribute greatly to your home's efficiency.

Using newer appliances such as high efficiency clothes washers which use 30-50 percent less water, 50-60 percent less energy and require, and one third the detergent than standard washers will save you both in your water and electric bill. Your clothes will suffer less wear and tear and will require less time in the dryer to boot.

High efficiency dishwashers use 6-10 gallons of water per load and some will use even less, compared to traditional dishwashers that use 10-12 gallons per load. You will save both time and money with not having to pre-rinse as these newer models are much better with cleaning your dishes.

If all of this sounds like a foreign language to you, contact your local power company. They will have an energy audit program, where they can assist in evaluating your energy demands and make suggestions to conserve usage, based on your specific home.

Programmable thermostats help reduce energy costs by lowering energy use during those times when you do not need it. In the winter, for example, your house does not need to be quite as warm when you are away at work, nor does it need to be as warm when you are asleep in bed. A programmable thermostat can tell your home's heating system to gear up for your arrival after work, or to knock off a bit until an hour or so before you get up in the morning.

Installing high efficient lighting in your home can save you a couple of hundred dollars, in the first year alone. The light bulbs last longer, and provide the same amount of light while using a fraction of the wattage. If you are interested in other ways that high eifficent lighting can improve your home there is a lighting fact sheet available at:

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse (EREC)
P.O. Box 3048
Merrifield, VA 22116
1-800-DOE-EREC (1-800-363-3732)



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