You don’t have to build from scratch to have a greener home. These quick and easy home fixes will shrink your consumption and your monthly bills.
- Rate it. Look for Energy Star-rated products. This government program helps people make energy-efficient choices, which can lead to savings of up to a third of energy costs.
- Switch the lights. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than traditional bulbs. Replace them in highly used fixtures such as porch lights, bathroom vanities and office lamps.
- Go with the flow. Use low-flow showerheads and consider installing low-flow toilets to reduce water usage and save on water-heating costs.
- Plug in, turn off. Use a power strip for your home office or home entertainment center. Even in standby mode, consumer electronics — which account for 15 percent of household electricity — use a little juice, so turn the power strip off when you can.
- Cool it. Turn the water temperature for your washing machine or dishwasher down to 120º F to cut water-heating energy consumption.
- Seal it. Search for hidden air leaks in your attic, basement or crawl space, and seal them with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping. Home sealing can be an inexpensive way to cut energy consumption by up to 10 percent.
Sources: www.energystar.gov, http://www.eere.energy.gov/; http://www.crs.com/magazine/your_home_newsletter.shtml