Insulation, Low-Flush Toilets, and 8 Other Ways to Save Energy in your Home (Guest Blog)

By Guest Blogger, April 18, 2013, Energy Efficiency, Save Money

Home & HandsUsing less energy in your home not only helps the environment, it puts more money in your pocket as well. Since it can be expensive to purchase all new energy-efficient appliances, there are quick, easy, and affordable steps you can take today to save energy in your home.

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

Save water effortlessly by installing an energy-efficient low-flow showerhead in your shower. Not only will you reduce the amount of water you use in the shower by up to 60%, you will also save energy and money because you’re not heating unnecessary amounts of water. Priced at just $10 to $20 each, you can install the showerhead yourself in minutes.

Replace Your Faucet Aerators

Typical faucet aerators – the screw-on tips for your faucets – allow faucets to use more than 2 gallons per minute (gpm) of water flow. Switching to an aerator that uses 1.0 gpm or less can make a big difference in your monthly water bill. A new energy-efficient aerator typically costs less than $5.00 can be installed with ease.

Change the Temperature of Your Hot Water Heater

Lowering the temperature on your water heater to 120°F or 140°F can cut your energy consumption by 20% or more. For every 10°F reduction, you can expect to save 3-5% on your monthly energy bill.

Repair Leaky Faucets Promptly

Leaky faucets can waste gallons of water in a short period of time, so fix those faucets as soon as you find them leaking. A drip as slow as 1 drop per second can cost you an extra $4 on your monthly water bill.

Insulate Windows and Doors

The biggest energy-efficient step you can take is to install better insulation around your doors and windows. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that about 50% of a home’s energy use comes through heating and cooling the home. Sealing energy leaks through windows and doors helps you save energy and could cut your monthly electricity bill by up to 50%.

Insulate Your Hot Water Heater

A typical house can save $44 a year by getting new insulation around your water heater. Some manufacturers don’t recommend insulating; however, so be sure to check your owner’s manual first. When insulating, be careful not to cover the top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment.

Insulate Your Pipes

Covering the first six feet of your hot and cold water pipes as they leave the water heater can also help you save energy and money. Insulation prevents heat from leaking out of your water as is travels to your sink or shower. Foam insulation can be purchased as the low cost of about $2.00 for 6 feet.

Install a Low-Flush Toilet

Standard toilets can use 3.5 gallons of water per flush, but low-flush toilets only use around 1.6 gallons per flush. Low-flush toilets can save 25 gallons of water in the average home every day.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable heating thermostat allows you to effortlessly turn your home’s heat down before you go to bed or work and turn it up again when you wake up or come home. This simple step can save you 20% on your yearly heating bill.

Lower Your Heat

When heating your home, Set your thermostat to 68°F for times when you’re awake and at home and to 58°F when you’re away or asleep. If you’re used to higher settings, decrease the temperature 1°F at a time to get acclimated. You can expect to save 1-3% of your heating costs for every degree you step down.

Rachel is a blogger for Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Minneapolis who has a team of plumbers in Maple Grove, MN who specialize in energy-efficient plumbing updates and repair services.

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