How to use less energy and save money at home

September 9, 2015

Looking for clever ideas to use less energy — and save money at home? Check out these simple energy saving tips to bring down your heating and cooling bills.

How to use less energy and save money at home

Go straight to the source

  • An energy audit involves a series of tests that tells you the efficiency of your heating and cooling system and the overall efficiency of your home.
  • On the basis of the test results, your auditor will recommend low-cost improvements to save energy and larger upgrades that will pay you back within five to seven years.
  • Audits take two to three hours and can cost between $250 to $400.
  • But if you set one up through your utility company, you may be eligible for a rebate.

How to find insulation problems

  • To find out where warm air is escaping into your attic, look in your attic for insulation that has darkened (the result of filtering dirty air from the house).
  • In cold weather, you might even see frosty areas in the insulation caused by warm, moist air condensing and freezing as it hits the cold attic air.
  • In warmer weather, you'll find water staining in the same areas.

Other sources for heat loss

  • Electrical boxes that hold switches or outlets are major sources of heat loss.
  • Foam gaskets will not completely seal the boxes, but they will help.
  • These gaskets are quick to install — just take off the cover plate, stick the gasket over the box, then put the plate back on.

These simple energy saving tips might not sound like much, but they can reduce your energy use when it comes to maintaining your home's temperature — and save you money.

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