Do-It-Yourself Energy Efficiency Tips: Go Green, Save Money.
In the peak months of winter and summer, fluctuating energy bills can be a harsh reminder that your home isn’t as efficient as it could be. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do around the house to make your home run just a little greener. Here are a few easy projects that don’t take a lot of time, but can save you big money on your energy bill.
Project #1: Reduce power consumption for computers and home theaters
Electronic devices may make our lives easier, but running them constantly can also put a dent in your electric bill. For no cost at all, you can reconfigure your energy-saving settings on your computer, adjusting brightness as necessary and sending to sleep mode after 10 minutes of inactivity. For a small cost, energy-saving power strips allow peripheral units, like a receiver in your home theater or printer to your computer, to only power on when a control device (your television) is powered on.
Project #2: Seal up any air leaks
Many people know that windows are a common place for air to leak out, so caulking or even wrapping windows is a pretty common energy-saving step. However, there are a lot more places in your home where air typically leaks out: around plumbing pipes, wiring, electrical boxes, and even light fixtures that bump up to an attic or crawl space. Your local home improvement store sells insulating foam sealant for about $10 a can that can help do the trick. Just be sure to wear protective gear like safety goggles and gloves when applying.
Project #3: Swap out light bulbs for energy efficient ones
There are a lot of great new trends out this year in smart lighting technologies, but for a simple and cheap solution, just swap out your old bulbs for energy efficient CFLs or the newer LEDs. You may be surprised that a variety of options, like decorative bulbs and compatibility with dimmers, can easily be found.
Project #4: Get a Home Energy Analysis from LG&E
Maybe you’re ready to put a little money into energy efficiency, but you’re not quite sure how to get started. Consider paying a one-time fee of $25 for an in-home energy analysis from LG&E (or your local energy provider). They’ll let you know, based on the specifics of your home, what is the best bang-for-your-buck as far as expensive updates. Will you most benefit from insulation? New windows? Updated appliances? Find out exactly where to spend your money and, in addition to the savings on your bill, you might also be eligible for a cash rebate.
If you’re a lover of technology, you may want to step up your energy efficiency with in-home automation solutions from Hawkeye. A smart thermostat can be set to run at a more efficient setting while you’re out of the house. Smart lighting solutions can be programmed to turn outdoor lights on only between dusk and midnight, and indoor lights on automatically as you walk in the door. Of course, making your life easier and limiting the number of remote controls and bulky devices is an added benefit of a smart home.
Whether through DIY work or hiring helpers, your commitment to saving energy is a smart idea. Both the earth – and your wallet – will thank you.