Home Energy Efficiency Tips

We now have home energy efficiency in the Northeast winters and have saved over $300 a month on our utility bills by implementing the tips you will find on this web site. The home energy efficiency tips found here can easily cut back a minimum of a $100 on your home utility bill. It no longer matters how large a salary you may have, everyone is concerned about global warming, the cost of fuel, future generations and having a more energy efficiency in the home.

We can all do our part to create energy efficiency in our homes and businesses, no matter where we live.

home energy alternatives

Save Money by Cutting Home Energy Bills

Save on Home Energy Bills
How to have better home energy efficiency  has become a major concern for many, especially for those that live in cold winter climates like it is in the Northeast.  As jobs in the USA become more and more scarce and the cost of fuel keeps rising higher and higher, many people are trying to figure out ways to save money on their use of home energy in order to lower monthly home energy bills
To ease this  burden as a homeowner, or as a tenant in a leased home, we will provide easy to implement home energy efficiency tips to begin lowering your home energy consumption while not depriving yourself of the life style you have become accustom to living.

Sealing Your Home for Energy Efficiency

Making sure that your home is completely sealed will keep your heating and cooling appliances maximized for efficiency by not allowing the warm and cool air to escape. This is especially important for those cold northeast winters. If you have one of those homes with the huge icicles hanging from the eaves during one of those bitter cold northeast winters, you are losing too much heat. In case you didn't know, that is what those icicles are indicative of - heat loss. Heat loss translates into high heating bills in the winter. Keeping the warm or cool air contained inside the home where it belongs, will save on energy consumption and money.

If you live in the southern part of the country, a perfectly sealed home keeps the temperature of your house maintained at a cooler temperature. This will also maximize the power of your air conditioning system, by using less electricity to keep it cool.

To do this, keep your window sills, door frames, and joints tight. Apply sealant onto these places where there is leakage so that the air from the outside does not mix with the air on the inside. This is especially import for energy efficiency in the Northeast during those frigid winter months.

Whether you want to heat up or cool down your home, a properly sealed house will keep your heater and air conditioning system functioning at it's top performance. You don’t want the warm or cold air to go in or out of your home. This will consume more energy than it should be consuming.

Preventing Heat Loss

Doors and Window Jambs

On movable sections of windows and doors, you should use weatherstripping. Weatherstrips are rubber materials that seal the movable object from its non-movable door or window jamb. This will go on garage doors, exterior doors, operable windows, and attic doors.

To prevent heat loss from windows, first make sure that air leaks are either caulked to seal, or fill in around sashes with felt striping. If there is still air leaking out, you can also use plastic window covering. Plastics are the best material to use to insulate windows and keep the heat of your home inside. All of these materials can be found in any DIY home improvement store such as Lowe's or Home Depot

Replace Older Windows with Energy Saver Windows

Replace your windows with double paned, or energy efficient windows. These windows are designed to block the cold air during the winter, and also block the summer heat. Energy efficient windows are windows with low emissivity coating, double or triple glazed with argon fill gas. You can order these types of windows in custom sizing at any home improvement store such as Lowe's or Home Depot. Building supply stores such as Stock Building supplies also have them as does Sears. You just need to check around for the best price. You can save even more by installing the windows yourself.

Heating Vents, Air Ducts, Radiators and Grills

Installing free flowing heating vents and air grills will maximize the flow of heat in your home. Keep interference such as rugs, furniture and drapes away from them.

Check the air ducts for leaks and repair ducts with mastic or special metallic-backed tape. Leakage of air conditioned air from broken or disconnected ducts accounts for 20 to 40 percent of energy loss during the summer months when the air conditioner is at it's peak usage.

Outlets and Switches

In newer homes, the problems with air leaking in and out of outlets and light switches may be few as today's' builders usually pay more attention to sealing draft potential areas and slots. Older homes are often not as well sealed. Even if the outer walls are insulated, air leaks often occur around wall outlets, switches and vents that could result in water condensation around these areas. A good foam patch should fix the problem.

Fiberglass Insulation

All wall space, crawl space, cellar space and attic space should have fiberglass insulation to keep the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Installing insulation will make a noticeable size dent in winter heating bills.

Note: One good way to find out if your basement has leaks or drafts is to look for spider webs. Where there are spider webs, there are leaks.

Regulate Heat with Blinds and Drapes

Another way to cut the cost of winter heating bills is to select heavier fabric drapes with a denser weave that will cover the entire window area. This will assist in minimizing any cold drafts coming in from the outside.

On sunny days, open the drapes to allow the sun’s heat in to warm your home. This one simple step, will allow you to turn down the thermostat, thereby saving a lot more money on winter heating cost. Speaking of the thermostat.....

Controlling the Thermostat

Lowering the Thermostat

Keeping the thermostat to an even 70 degrees F during those frosty northest winders while at home will cut your winter fuel bills. You can lower your thermostat at night to between 60 - 63 degrees while you are sleeping. Adding down comforters or quilts to the bedding will insulate the bed using your own body heat which will make for a very toasty nights sleep.

Turn down the thermostat when away from the home too. Of course you don't want to come home to an icebox, but lowering the thermostat to just 65 degrees F. will save considerably. Installing a programmable thermostat is a convenient and affordable home improvement feature that will help to save on home energy use.

Each degree lower that you adjust your thermostat, equals to 2% saved energy. Every 2 degrees lower in the winter and 2 degrees higher in the summer will save our planet more than one-third of a ton of CO2 emissions each year.

Raising the Thermostat

During the hot summer months turn up your air-conditioner to 78 degrees while you are home and at 85 degrees while you are away. This will significantly trim your energy bill and contribute to a lighter load on the power grid. Using fans and installing awnings can help make the home more comfortable during the higher summer temperatures, but  at a lower energy consumption rate.

Out in the Garage

Do not leave the heat in the garage turned on all of the time. If you are planning to spend some time out there, you can easily turn the heat back on when you need to. It only takes a few minutes to heat up before going out into the garage. You can save a lot of energy if you do this.

Remember: Only turn on the garage heat when necessary.

Electronic Devices

When taking into consideration all of your appliances, electronics and electric run gadgets and tools, the amount of energy consumed on a daily bases can really add up to contribute to your ever-growing monthly electric bills.

All electrical appliances that are left plugged in to sockets, even when they are not being used, DO consume energy. 
The easy solution is to just unplug them.

Remember to switch off the computer monitor and printer, for example, when not in use.

It is just the same as turning on the engine of your car and leaving it idling all day. It's not going anywhere, it's not doing anything, it's just sitting there burning up fuel. A single appliance that remains plugged in may not give a noticeable increase to your bill, but leaving every appliance and electronic device plugged in can be a real money energy guzzler without you even noticing it. Make sure to pull the plugs of every electrical device  from their sockets whenever you aren't going to be using them.

Many electronic devices can be plugged into power strips that can be turned off and on when needed. This will prevent the phantom loads from using electricity even when the unit is off.

*Avoid "phantom" energy users.

Add an Awning to Your Patio

Adding an awning to your porch can make a huge difference when it comes to controlling the summer heat.and cutting down on the use of air conditioning. During the summer the awning blocks the suns rays from entering into the home which makes for a cooler home, and therefore a more energy efficient home.

During the winter, the awnings will protect the home from the cold, ice and snow. If you are thinking about having an awning installed you should get a retractable awning so that you have the control over when you want it open or closed..

Planting Shade Trees

It’s easy to predict the location of the sun throughout the day during each season. Planting shade trees on your property can help with shading the home during hot summer months and cut down on the use of air conditioning. Shade trees not only keep the home cooler, but also aide with the removal of pollutants from the air.

If you live in the Northeast with bitter cold winters choose deciduous trees (these are trees that lose their leaves). These types of trees will cool your home in the hot summer months, but will allow the sun's warmth to come through during the cold winter months.

If you live in a tropical climate like Hawaii, plant trees to shade your home during the hottest hours of the day.

Solar Lights Outside and in the Garden

Another huge consumer of the environment polluting electricity is your outside lights. When you leave the porch lights, and the lights along the walkway to your front door, burning when you are away from home, you are wasting a lot of electricity. Don't worry, you don’t have to go without your outside lights. Solar lights are a wonderful alternative that will save you money on your electric bill and save the environment too.

Outside solar lights have come a long way in the last ten years. They now come in every time of decor imaginable. There are short garden lights that can be staked along the walkway to the front door or along the pathways in the gardens. There are pole, lantern style solar lights and hanging solar lights to light the front porch. They also come in every color of the rainbow.

They way they work is they collect energy from the sun during the day into batteries, and they switch on as soon as it gets dark. Many of the new ones being made now have on and off switches, so you can turn them off if you want to, but you don't have to. They can run almost all night. When they run out of power they turn off and as soon as the sun comes out again they will turn back on and start collecting energy again. How cool is that?

Another advantage of solar lights is that you can put any where you want them since you don't have to worry about plugging them in to an electrical outlet. Switching to outside solar lights is the right thing to do to save energy and money.

Motion detectors can save on energy too, but they won't save that much. Motion detectors are still using electricity, even when they are off. If you get battery operated motion detectors, then you will save on electricity and money, but you can also get solar motion detectors than will save even more money while you learn to cut your carbon footprint use!