There are dozens of ways you can save energy around your house. They’ll cost you less, and most of them will reduce your household’s carbon footprint on the planet.
- Insulate. This can be a long-term project. Evaluate your house to see what’s practical in terms of insulating it. Heat rises, so can you insulate the inside of your roof? Ideally, you may be able to insulate your outside walls, for example with blown-in insulation, but this can be expensive and might not be entirely effective. If you don’t have double-pane windows, consider installing storm windows.
- Stop infiltration. Cold air infiltrating your house is a major energy loss. There are opportunities everywhere you look, especially in older houses. Make sure windows latch tight. Make sure doors have snug fittings. Use rope caulk in the winter on any windows or doors that blow in cold air. In warm weather, walk around the outside of the house with a caulking gun, looking for open cracks.
- Service your furnace. A furnace service contract, with its yearly preventive maintenance, will pay for itself almost every year in improved efficiency … to say nothing of your savings if the furnace breaks down!
- Get a time-setback thermostat. This simple device, easy to install and available at any hardware store, automatically turns heat down during the day and when you’re asleep, which will result in substantial savings.
- Buy energy-efficient. Most appliances today have energy ratings. Compare before you buy. Look for EnergyStar, an official rating assigned only to the most efficient appliances.
- Use shades, fans and common sense. Do you really need an air conditioner going full blast to stay comfortable in hot summer months? Often a shady room, a fan and light clothing will provide you with just as much comfort, and much less chill.