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Save Energy

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Save Energy

Save Energy in the Home

There are several ways to save energy in the home. Saving energy can be free, sometimes it may cost a little money, or it may cost a lot of money.

Save Energy, Spend No Money

Save Energy, Spend a Little Money

Switching to CFL and LED bulbs can reduce power consumption by up to 75 percent for each bulb. LED bulbs used to be very expensive, but prices are coming down.

A dimmer switch gives control of lighting level and saves energy. Incandescent bulbs work well with dimmers. Check the package of other types of bulbs to see if they work with dimmers. Dimmers are also available as a 3-way switch.

Replace the heating and air conditioning filters when they get dirty, otherwise the furnace will not operate efficiently. Filters should be replaced every one to three months depending on quality of filters and heating and air conditioning usage.

Energy Usage Monitors

If you are serious about saving energy in your home, you should have an energy usage monitor.

An energy monitor can measure the power consumption of appliances and electronics when they are turned on and the standby power consumption when they are turned off. If too much power is consumed when the they are turned off, consider unplugging them or using a surge protected power strip (TV, DVD, Receiver, etc) that you can turn off when not in use.

There are two types of energy usage monitors. One type is used to plug in individual electronic devices and appliances, the other is mounted near your power company meter to measure the usage of the entire home.

Thermostat Settings for Saving Energy Table

Outlet Timers

Using an outlet timer allows you to have the load turned off automatically after a certain amount of time. It can control lights, fans, appliances, chargers, etc.

Save Energy, Spend a Lot of Money

Newer homes are usually more energy efficient than older homes. Sometimes saving energy costs money in the short term but will save money in the long term. How much you will depend on your desire to save energy, your budget, and if the improvements are necessary. Keep in mind that energy saving investments could return to you in a higher value of your home.

Saving energy while spending a lot of money usually involves home improvements. Improvements include new HVAC (heating and air conditioning) systems, new double paned windows and doors, new insulation for the attic, etc. Home resale value could rise after these improvements.

Energy Saving Rebates

Check your power and gas bill or power and gas company websites to see if there are any rebates or special offers for energy-saving upgrades to your house. Use Energy Star rated appliances and electronics when possible www.energystar.gov. Newer appliances and electronics usually use less energy than older ones and have little or no standby power.

Some people who live in the desert use a swamp cooler to supplement the air conditioner when the heat is not extreme. A swamp cooler could also be used if there is a bedroom over the garage.

Federal and State Energy Tax Credits

Federal tax credits are available for many energy saving improvements to your home. Check with your state to see if they offer any rebates or tax credits for energy saving improvements. Licensed contractors usually know about all the available rebates and tax credits.

Check these links for more information energy saving tax credits.

Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency

Energy Incentives for Individuals in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Save Energy on Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer usually account for the most energy usage in a home. Homeowners don’t usually make some of these improvements just to save energy. Replacing an HVAC system is usually done if it fails or is at or near the end of its life span.

Replacing HVAC before it fails allows the homeowner to get multiple bids and a better deal on new units and plan for rebates. If your air conditioner fails in the middle of a hot summer or heater fails in the middle of a cold winter, you will end up paying more to replace them and getting whatever units they have in stock. It could also be difficult to get multiple bids.

Save Energy on Swimming Pools

In order to keep a swimming pool clean during the summer, the pump motor is usually on for about eight hours or more a day. You can reduce this time during the winter to about four hours when the water is cooler and pool is not in use very much. An old motor can be replaced with a new energy saving motor.