Energy Efficiency

The easiest and the no-contest energy efficiency project seems to be switching incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (cfl). I was able to purchase a set of 12 CFL bulbs at Sams Club for $9–what a difference in price over the past 3 years. The next most common step is to switch to more energy efficient appliances like high efficiency air conditioning, dish washer and clothes dryer. Hot water heater replacement with on demand hot water heaters are also common.

We believe insulation has an extremely high rate of return in most of the USA. Here there are many choices including sticking with fiber glass insulation or cellulosic insulation or biofoam insulation. All are equally effective in reducing heat or air conditioning loss.

Sealing cracks and adding leak barriers to outside doors, windows and attic can reduce electricity and natural gas use by 10-40% depending on the age of the house.

Attic ventilation fan with a thermostat can cool or heat the attic saving another 5-25% depending on the time of the year and where you live.

Energy Conservation

Also consider ways to reduce energy use in your home with no expense.  1) Running dishwasher, clothes washer and clothes dryer when the appliance is full.  2) Reduce the temperature of water in your water heater to “vacation” setting.  This works just as well in my household.  I bump up the temperature when we are expecting guests. 3) Turn up the thermostat by 2-3 F in the summer and 2-3 F down in the winter.  Just a slight temperature delta can save 10-20% of your total electric bill depending on where you live. 4) Turn off lights, computer, chargers, tv when not at home.