10 Ways to Save Energy and Money

Yesterday I saw a Lowe’s commercial advertising ways to saving energy and money. So I went to Lowe’s website to find some quick and easy tips.

  1. Adjust thresholds and door sweeps
    That little 1/8-inch gap along the bottom of your front door is equivalent to having a 4-inch hole in your wall; you’d plug that up fast! If your threshold and lower door sweep are adjustable, take five minutes to adjust them so they’re snug. Usually it requires only a screwdriver. If they’re not adjustable, replacement parts are available.
  2. Add electrical outlet sealers
    The area behind electrical outlet boxes is frequently neglected when a house is insulated. Adding more insulation usually isn’t an option, but reducing drafts from air leaks is. Foam electrical outlet sealers (left), designed to fit snugly behind outlets and switch cover plates, are inexpensive and install easily.
  3. Seal leaky ductwork
    A recent study estimates that the average forced-air system loses over 20% of its heated (or cooled) air through leaks in the duct system. In open basements and attics where ductwork is accessible, it’s usually easy to seal these leaks. Two materials excel at the task. Both are inexpensive and the typical payback period on your investment is less than two years. Use a silicone sealant designed for ducts to seal gaps around curved seams, and aluminum tape to seal straight seams. Note: Contrary to its name, duct tape is actually one of the worst materials for sealing ducts; it degrades very quickly.
  4. Install an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat
    One study shows that ENERGY STAR programmable thermostats, when set to lower the temperature 5 degrees at night and 10 degrees during the workday, can save up to $150 per year. That’s a pretty hefty savings from installing a device that can cost as little as $40.
  5. Make sure your chimney damper is shut tight
    Don’t overlook the obvious. Did you remember to shut your fireplace damper after that cozy little fire you had a few months ago? Open dampers allow chimneys to pull warm air out in winter and cool air out in summer.
  6. Lower the temperature on your water heater
    Heating water beyond 120 degrees F can be both unsafe and wasteful. You can easily save money by lowering the temperature setting on your water heater. It’s usually as simple as turning a dial. If your water heater doesn’t have temperature markings on the dial, check water temperature with a cooking thermometer and gradually adjust the temperature by trial and error.
  7. Install dimmer switches and motion detector lights
    An inexpensive dimmer switch can lower your utility bill and substantially prolong bulb life. Installing motion detector lights outdoors keeps lights from burning all night long. For non-motion detector fixtures, screw-in adapters and independent motion sensors are available.
  8. Clean your refrigerator coils
    At least twice a year (more often if you have pets that shed) take time to clean the coils behind or beneath your refrigerator. Clean coils help the compressor work faster and run less often, saving electricity and resulting in fewer service calls and longer life for your appliance.
  9. Change furnace and cooling equipment air filters
    Check you filter every month, especially during heavy-use months, both summer and winter. A dirty filter will slow down airflow and make the system work harder. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system.
  10. Invest in ENERGY STAR products
    When shopping for new appliances, heating and cooling equipment, light fixtures and building materials, look for the ENERGY STAR logo. It’s your assurance that the product uses less energy, saves more money and helps protect the environment better than standard models. For a complete list of products and tons of useful information, visit energystar.gov.

  1. Energy Boomer

    Your post serves as a good reminder that we need to start our winter heatings season preparation work now.

    I enjoyed poking around your site.

    Birney Summers

  2. Mark

    I recommend this easy and Inexpensive solution to saving water, time, and energy; install a Hot Water Lobster Instant Hot Water Valve under the sink farthest form your water heater and you will have instant hot water throughout your entire home. It’s a great way to save water that’s normally wasted down the drain while waiting for hot water. The savings in water and energy easily recoups the initial $179.95 purchase price! More impressive is the convenience of instant hot water!

    The Hot Water Lobster uses no electricity and is pump free, so it creates no noise. It is made in the U.S.A., has a 10-year warranty, and can be easily installed in under 10 minutes.

    Check it out at:

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