10 No-Cost Tips for Saving Energy

No cost tips for saving energyLooking for fast, free ways to save on energy around the home this winter? There are many common-sense things you can do everyday in your home to lower energy bills:
  • Tip #1 – Lock your windows. Don’t just close them, but lock them to create an airtight seal that keeps out air leaks and drafts.
  • Tip #2 – Plug power-draining computers and electronic equipment into a power strip with a switch, so they can all be easily turned off when not in use.
  • Tip #3 – Turn off lights when leaving a room.
  • Tip #4 – Get free solar heat by opening the blinds and shades on your windows during the day.
  • Tip #5 – Chill out and do your laundry in cold water.
  • Tip #6 – Add a sweater and lower the thermostat. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you may be able to save 5 percent on heating costs.
  • Tip #7 – Run only full loads in your dishwasher.
  • Tip #8 – Remove lint often from your clothes dryer and its outside vent. And, run your dryer in the evening, when the extra heat helps warm your house.
  • Tip #9 – Close the doors (and the heating vents) in rooms with minimal use, like walk-in closets, laundry rooms and guest bedrooms, to reduce heat use in those areas.
  • Tip #10 – Snuggle up under more blankets at night and turn your heat down lower to reduce energy costs. 
Small things like these can add up to big energy savings in the home. You’ll be surprised to find your energy bills dropping by 20, 30 or more dollars each month when you consistently make the effort.
 
While free common-sense practices can help you save, keep in mind that a home can only be as energy-efficient as the products in it. Older appliances, windows and lack of insulation can suck the energy out of the home every day causing your heating and cooling costs to soar. Whenever possible, it’s important to invest in energy-efficient products that are marked with the ENERGY STAR® label.
 
One of the areas of the home subject to the most extreme loss of heating and cooling can be older windows. I’ve been in homes where people put heavy drapes and plastic wrap over the windows to stop air drafts. That’s not the solution. Investing in energy-efficient ENERGY STAR qualified windows makes your home more comfortable and instantly lowers energy bills. To get the best value, look for Energy Tax Credit glass packages like those in Simonton’s vinyl replacement windows.
           
For more tips on understanding replacement windows, download our free bonus chapter on replacement windows from “My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure.” The free chapter, which was prepared with help from experts at Simonton Windows, is titled “Your Complete Window Replacement Guide.”

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Comments

Storm vs. Replacement windows

Storm windows do help a lot, but if your windows are losing heat or have an air leak, a replacement window is probably a good idea. Also, contact your local power or gas utility and see if they have a rebate plan for replacing your windows. It doesn't pay for them completely, but can significantly reduce the price, sometimes even making them cheaper than storm windows!

storm windows work

You don't need to buy expensive replacement windows. You can get equivalent efficiency by adding storm windows to your house or repairing/replacing the ones you have. It's cheaper, giving you faster payback.

Allergists will disagree with the cold water washing

Allergists will disagree with the cold water washing. So you save a little on electricity, but spend it on medical care when your allergies get out of control. Also, hot water is the only way to kill bed bugs, lice, bacteria, and other unpleasent critters that may invade your home.

House Temps

So what is the best temperature to keep your house set at in the day and at night?

Double Check Your Window Seal

All these are fantastic tips for winterizing your home. Last winter I took a majority of these steps, but still found our home was freezing and we could not figure out why. We finally realized that even though we locked our windows, our seal was broken creating a horrible draft. And living in Indiana, our winters can be quite chilly. So this year before the winter months we used a Indiana Window replacement company that was fantastic! Now our home is air-tight and warm.

So word of warning, if you are still feeling a draft this winter, check your window seal so you don't suffer through a breezing winter like we did!