How Do I Make My Home More Energy Efficient?

How do I make my home more energy efficient? There are many things a homeowner can do to make their home energy efficient. From changing light bulbs to updating appliances, a person can see a huge difference in their electrical bills.

A homeowner can make their home more energy efficient by replacing appliances that are 10 years or older, such as refrigerators and freezers. Appliances have all had a tremendous increase in efficiency from the 1970s to the 1980s. Efficiency was usually increased by 50% on each item, says Dan Moore, a senior account manager for PNM, New Mexico's largest electricity and natural gas provider.

"By replacing old appliances, one can save a tremendous amount of money every year, particularly if you have grandma's freezer or refrigerator and it's a model from the 70-80s," says Moore. "I tell people you can generally make a payment from the savings in electricity, because where an old freezer refrigerator would use $20-$25 of electricity, a new one could be as little as $8-$12."

When looking to replace old appliances, install energy star labeled appliances; by doing this there are huge energy savings with new appliances.

Obviously, lighting is another big item. Look for energy star labeled lighting because the efficiency improvements with compact fluorescent lighting are tremendous. There is a 70% savings without degrading any of your light by going to compact fluorescence; plus they last 10 times longer than a normal incandescent bulb. For customers that have air-conditioning or refrigerator conditioning, by managing those temperatures and maintaining the highest comfortable thermostat setting, you can save energy. Try to get as close to 70 or 80 degrees as you can. If you are not going to be there during the day, using your automatic thermostat to turn a temperature up to 82 while you are gone and have it come back down to 78 half an hour before you come home, you can save a lot of energy.

According to, the bathroom is a room that is continually looked over as being energy efficient, but by controlling moisture in the bathroom it can help a homeowner save money and energy. The website recommends you install properly sized ENERGY STAR labeled ventilation fans to control the moisture while a person is bathing and showering. By removing moisture in a bathroom, a fan helps prevent mold and mildew. Also, all light bulbs should be switched out with energy efficient light bulbs and install energy star light fixtures. Seal all leaks with caulk or foam to insulate the area, and to prevent moisture from leaking to other areas of the home. If there are windows, doors or skylights, consider replacing them with energy star products.

"New technologies in the glass and frame systems help make your home more comfortable, and lower heating and cooling costs too," the website says.

For basements, seal air leaks, install vapor retarders and insulate the whole area. Basements are prone to allowing air from outside to enter and allowing moisture to seep through. Energy Star also recommends homeowners wrap their water heater with six feet of piping to save energy. There are heating and cooling systems on the market that also save considerable amounts of energy for a homeowner.

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