Save Energy with Home Energy Retrofits

Implement Energy Efficient Retrofits to Your Home to Save Money

Home energy retrofits, especially during colder months, will result in energy savings and a smaller carbon footprint. Many energy efficient retrofits can be done on your own at a very low cost, making them an excellent investment. We’ve gathered together some of the best and most cost-effective retrofit options for ways to save energy in your home, which will help you save money and cut your carbon emissions.

 

Home energy retrofit – heating and cooling systems

Keeping the heat in when it counts is one of the most important ways to save energy in your home. The following home retrofit ideas will have you saving energy and cutting utility costs in no time:

  • Install a programmable thermostat: A thermostat that you can program for your schedule will help you reduce heating and cooling costs and could save you up to $180 every year (make sure to purchase an ENERGY STAR qualified thermostat).[1]
  • Weatherize windows and doors: An older home can really benefit from a window and door upgrade or weatherization with yearly energy savings. Calculate your potential benefits using this Home Energy Saver calculator.
  • Add low-e window film: This reflective film added to existing windows can seriously reduce both heating and cooling costs and is usually more affordable than replacing your windows and doors. These films can save you up to $21 annually on energy bills.[2]
  • Buy an efficient air conditioner: Old air conditioning units often work very inefficiently, so upgrading can produce big results. An air conditioner with a SEER rating of 9.0 to 12.0 can cut cooling costs by $27 annually.[2]
  • Upgrade your furnace: Upgrading your furnace to one with an AFUE rating of 0.50 to 0.96 can save you $215 on your annual heating bill.[2]
  • Add attic insulation: Most homes lose a great deal of energy out through their roofs because of inadequate attic insulation. Boost your attic insulation and you could save $100 on your heating and cooling bills every year.[2]
  • Insulate your basement: If your basement is a cold place, it could be stealing heat from your home. Add insulation in that space to save upwards of $60 annually on heating bills.[2]
  • Upgrade your skylight: Since heat rises, if you’re skylight is inefficient, it can let a lot of warmth escape your home. Upgrade it to an ENERGY STAR which will be up to 40% more energy efficient than standard models.[3]
  • Stop air drafts: Heat can escape through unsealed windows, electrical outlets, ducting, under doorways, and more. Putting a stop to the draft by sealing air leaks can be a very inexpensive retrofit that nets you some great energy savings, up to 20% on heating and cooling costs.[4]

 

Home energy retrofit - water heating systems

Our water heating systems can contribute big-time to heating bills and energy consumption. And since heating water means using energy, paying attention to these areas of your home will help to shrink your greenhouse gas emissions, too.

  • Fix plumbing leaks: A dripping faucet means wasted water, and if it’s heated water, then you’re wasting energy, too. If all Americans were to get a plumber in to fix their leaks, it could shave 14% off the nation’s water bill every year.[5]
  • Install low flow showerheads and faucet aerators: Like water leaks, a showerhead or faucet that uses too much hot water will cost you. Installing a low-flow showerhead and faucet aerator can cut $47 off of your annual heating costs, not to mention saving on water consumption costs.[2]
  • Install a tankless water heater: These appliances heat water only as you need it, thereby cutting the energy required to store heated water. They can lower your energy consumption by 10-20% annually.[6]
  • Insulate your water heater: This simple, inexpensive retrofit will cost about $20 but save that amount in energy costs in a couple of months, easily paying for itself. 
  • Insulate your ducts and pipes: This goes for hot water pipes and heating/cooling ducts alike as they can all lose a tremendous amount of heat if not properly insulated. When insulated, you stop the loss of up to 60% of the energy used to heat your air.[7]

Want to learn more ways to save energy? Check out these related articles Energy Efficient Cooling and Heating and Energy Efficient Windows. 






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References

1  Heat & Cool Efficiently. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2011, from ENERGY STAR: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac

2  Cool Citizens: Everyday Solutions to Climate Change: Household Solutions . (2002). Retrieved Januar 15, 2011, from Rocky Mountain Institute: http://www.rmi.org/rmi/Library/C02-12_CoolCitizensHouseholdSolutions

3  High-Performance Windows. (2000). Retrieved January 15, 2011, from US Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.energystar.gov/ia/new_homes/features/HighPerformanceWindows1-17-01.pdf

4  Air Seal and Insulate with ENERGY STAR. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2011, from ENERGY STAR: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_sealing

5  Water on Tap: What you Need to Know. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2011, from US Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/wot/pdfs/book_waterontap_full.pdf

6  ToolBase: Tankless Water Heaters. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2011, from www.pathnet.org: http://www.toolbase.org/pdf/techinv/tanklesswaterheaters_techspec.pdf

7  Energy Savers Booklet. (n.d.). Retrieved Januar 15, 2011, from US Department of Energy: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/pdfs/energy_savers.pdf

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