Energy Efficient Home Tips from Energy Star

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Summary:Get easy home energy saving tips in Tom Kraeutler's video podcast for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ENERGY STAR program.

TOM: Welcome to the Energy Star video podcast.

Hi! I'm Tom Kraeutler, host of The Money Pit home improvement radio show. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program has asked me to show you some changes you can make around the house to save energy and money.

I'm visiting to get some help from their interactive tool, Energy Star At Home, which offers energy-saving tips for every room of the house. Today, we're bringing it to life and taking you on a room by room tour.

The energy used in the average home can be responsible for more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions of the average car. By using less energy at home, you reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help protect the environment from the risks of global warming.

We all spend a lot of time in our kitchen so it's very important to make sure our appliances are energy efficient. Energy Star-qualified refrigerators like this one use only half as much energy as older models. Save even more by recycling that old refrigerator you're keeping in your garage or your basement. You don't always need a new appliance to be energy-efficient. Little things like keeping your gas burners clean can help save energy too.

Here's what we call an energy vampire. You probably have a few of them around your house. Did you know many power adapters like this cell phone charger use energy even when they're not connected to the phone? It's an easy fix. Just unplug it when you're done charging.

It's important to check for gaps around doors so you're not letting heat get out and cool air get in. A little bit of weatherstripping the block and leaky spot and you'll be more comfortable and save energy at the same time.

This might be an entertainment dream come true but it's an energy nightmare. All those electronics we love, TVs, DVD players, they use a lot of energy even when they're in the off position. The solution? Plug everything into a power strip and turn it off when you're not using it. Take it up a notch with energy efficient electronics. The next time you're shopping for a TV or a DVD player, make sure to choose one that's earned the Energy Star.

One of the areas where heat leaves your house in the winter and gets in in the summer is right here around these windows. Check for gaps and cracks and then seal them up. You'll save energy and money at the same time.

One of the simplest things you can do is to change out your old incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lights or CFLs that have earned the government's Energy Star. If every American replaced their five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ones that have earned the Energy Star, we'd save close to $8 billion a year in energy cost. Another easy fix: Consider installing a programmable thermostat. When used properly, it can save you up to a $150 a year.

Your attic can allow your heat or air conditioning to leak right out at the top of your house. Weatherstrip or insulate your attic hatch or door to prevent air from escaping and maximize the efficiency of your attic insulation. Adding insulation is one of the best ways to increase the energy efficiency of your entire home. An R-value of 38 or higher is going to make that insulation as efficient as possible.

This little guy's room gets really warm in the summertime. Replacing this light with a ceiling fan can help. It's a year-round energy saver. In the summer, the fans can keep you cool, and in the winter, you can use the reverse setting to keep you warm and cozy all winter-long. Don't forget, as you leave a room, turn off that light switch. Turning that switch off saves $15 a year in energy costs.

Keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer requires lots of energy, but there are things you can do. Schedule a preseason checkup on your HVAC system each spring and fall to make sure it's working at maximum efficiency, and remember to change your filter every three months.

If you want to know even more about making changes in your house, check out the Energy Star website at There you'll find the Energy Star At Home tool and lots of helpful information to make your home more energy-efficient. Remember, even a few small changes at home can make a big difference in helping us win the fight against global warming.

On behalf of Energy Star, I'm Tom Kraeutler, and thanks for watching.

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