Search: I Can Fix Up My Home
index sitemap advanced
search engine by freefind home page Read the blog Read electrical & appliances articles Read green building & energy efficiency articles Read home interior articles
Read home exterior articles Read drywall and framing articles Read plumbing articles Read painting and wallpaper articles Read tools and woodworking articles

An Energy Efficiency Checklist—Save Energy, Money

A Comprehensive Listing of Ways to Use Less Energy and Lower Bills

© 2009 by Kelly R. Smith

Photo of Kelly R. Smith

A typical electric meter; photo © 2009 KSmith Media, LLC

A typical electric meter

This article was updated on 09/03/21.

Ads we feature have been independently selected and reviewed. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission, which helps support the site. Thank you for your support.

With electricity and gas bills skyrocketing, it’s more important than ever to make energy usage adjustments to your home and its appliances, such as your microwave, electric stove, and HVAC unit. Take control of your utility bills.

Yes, it’s a sad fact of life; the price of residential energy, electricity as well as natural gas, is rising. No one is predicting that trend to turn around anytime soon. Energy policies put in place by President Joe Biden are putting a stranglehold on producers and are turning us back into into energy importers rather than exporters.

In view of this, we are going to be at the mercy of foreign producers, as they will dictate what we pay. This is why it’s extremely important to use your energy efficiency checklist. Every consumer benefits by taking measures to reduce energy consumption.

Free Ways to Conserve Energy and Money

  • The basic rule: remember the classic mom and dad mantra; "If you’re not using it, turn it off".

  • Conserve the hot water: try taking briefer showers. Wash your clothes using cold water. Remember, the cost of heating water averages 15% of your home’s energy bill. Better still, why not install a tankless water heater? There's no point in storing hot water and keeping it hot when no one is using it.

  • Hang your clothes out to dry. The clothes dryer consumes more energy than any appliance other than your refrigerator!

  • Keep your home warmer in the summer and use ceiling fans. Keep it cooler in the winter; wear a sweater.

  • Tune-up and calibrate your thermostat.

Inexpensive Ways to Save Energy and Money

  • Replace your air conditioner/heater filter each month (or as specified by your manufacturer); put it on your calendar.

  • Replace old and damaged flex duct; it’s an easy DIY job.

  • Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs and install LED lights for task lighting in work areas.
  • Only buy appliances displaying the Energy Star label.

  • Purchase a water heater insulation wrap; these are inexpensive and will recover the purchase price. I have seen some that say they are not needed, but common sense says otherwise.

  • Change to low-flow shower heads: you’ll be surprised at the difference it will make in the long run.

  • Upgrade to a 7-day programmable thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat - 2nd Generation T200577 is one of the most popular ones on the market because it saves so much money.

  • Inspect and repair your door and window weather stripping.

  • Hang ceiling fans in your living room and bedrooms. The blades should rotate one way during the summer (blowing down) and the other way during winter(blowing up).

Higher Investment Ways to Save Energy and Money

  • Plant one or more shade trees where summer sun hits your home; leaves block the sun’s heat during the summer. When the leaves drop when fall arrives, the sunlight shines through the branches to warm your house. Win, win, yes?

  • Add more crawlspace and attic insulation in your if you’re not up to snuff. A minimum of R-49 is the magic number in many places; your’s might be different.

  • Apply radiant barrier paint to the bottom of your roof decking or or radiant barrier foil to your attic floor. You’ll find that it will pay for itself very fast.

  • Upgrade Energy Star-rated windows or storm windows. During the winter time, the home’s heat loss can be reduced by up to 50%.

  • Have a tankless water heater installed when your current one bites the bullet. This is a great way to save money. There’s no point heating water when no one is using it.

  • Are you putting in a new central air conditioner? Purchase one boasting a SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) of 13 or higher. Again, look for the Energy Star sticker.
  • If your home is in a low humidity area, go with an swamp cooler instead of an A/C. This technology adds humidity to your home; a conventional air conditioner removes it.

Don’t Make all Your Energy Efficiency Upgrades at Once

I know it’s tempting, but resist. Think seasonally. Your attic improvements are best done during cooler weather, especially if you are doing the work yourself. Research what will bring you tax credits. Do those home improvements before the end of the tax year.

Plant trees on Arbor Day and always turn off the lights!.

Have a website or blog? Generate more income!

Did you find this article helpful? Share it!

Visit Kelly's profile on Pinterest.

More Trending Articles

Did you find this article helpful? Millions of readers rely on information on this site and our blog to stay informed and find meaningful solutions. Please chip in as little as $3 to keep this site free for all.

About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at Considered Opinions Blog where he muses on many different topics.

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Website © 2008 Kelly R. Smith; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

Looking for more great content? Visit our partner sites:
The Green Frugal
Running Across Texas

I offer article and blog-writing services. Interested? Contact me for a quote!


Return to the Green Building and Energy Efficiency Articles

Return to ICFUMH Homepage