- Add new insulation to your attic. It’s
especially smart if your house is more than 25 years old. Sometimes the
state will subsidize professionally installed insulation and other
energy-efficiency improvements. Check with your gas and electric
companies to see what subsidies are available and how to qualify.
COST: About $750 for an 800 square-foot attic to do it yourself, or $1,500 if you hire a professional
SAVINGS: $600 per year
- Seal air leaks around the house. Weather strip
your windows and doors by filling gaps and cracks with caulking, and use
plastic window-insulation kits on older windows. Also, seal gaps from
plumbing lines, recessed lighting, and crawl spaces.
COST: Tube of caulk is $3 to $6 (save by buying multi-packs), and a window-insulation kit is $10 to $20
SAVINGS: $350 per year
- Upgrade to a programmable thermostat, which
automatically adjusts your home’s temperature settings. You can buy a
Wi-Fi model ($100 to $200) with more features that lets you remotely
control it by using an app.
COST: $25 to $50 (Check for rebates with your utility provider)
SAVINGS: $180 per year
- Wash clothes in cold water. Heating water is
the single largest expense to run a load of laundry. Also, hot water
shrinks and fades your clothes and should be used only when there are
SAVINGS: $130 to $300 per year on water heating costs, depending on the size of your family.
- Unplug electronics when not in use. Energy
“vampires” include TVs, computers, video game consoles, phone chargers
(basically anything that “glows”) and account for 5 to 10 percent of
household electricity costs even when they’re turned off. Save money by
unplugging them, shutting them down, or attaching them to a single power
strip than can be turned off.
COST: Free or $10 to $40 for a power strip/surge protector
SAVINGS: $100 per year
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs).
While they cost a bit more, CFLs use 75 percent less energy and last at
least 6 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs.
COST: $5 to $15 each (save by buying multi-packs)
SAVINGS: $75 per year in electricity by replacing your five most frequently used bulbs. Savings potential increases since the average home has 30 light fixtures.
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