With oil prices suddenly racing higher, gasoline isn’t the only thing that’s getting more expensive. Energy costs for your home are also going up, making it more advisable than ever to take steps to reduce consumption.The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) offers dozens of things consumers can do to save energy.
Here are a few ideas:
Update lighting-Known as the screw-in “A” type light bulb, standard incandescent lamps are the most common, but the most inefficient, light source available. Artificial lighting consumes almost 15 percent of a household’s electricity use. Use of new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in homes by as much as 75 percent.
Tankless hot water systems–This is an example of spending money to save money, but keep in mind a tankless water system might not be efficient for every consumer, because the purchase price is much greater than for a traditional hot water tank. However, unless you have a very large family and plan to live in your home for many more years, it might not make economic sense to spend the extra money on a demand system. Adding an insulation blanket to your traditional water heater and reducing the water temperature might be more effective ways to save energy and money.
Adding insulation-If your home was built before the 1980s, chances are it was not constructed with energy efficiency in mind. These days builders add generous layers of insulation to floors, attics and walls, to reduce the impact of outside temperatures. How quickly adding insulation will pay off will be determined, in large part, by the climate in which you live.
Storm doors Adding a storm door can be a good investment if your existing door is old but still in good condition. However, adding a storm door to a newer, insulated door is not generally worth the expense since you won’t save much more energy.Never add a glass storm door if the exterior door gets more than a few hours of direct sun each day. The glass will trap too much heat against the entry door and possibly damage it.Insulated drapes, when closed for the night in the winter (or on sunny days in the summer) may end up being a better idea.