Eight Habits of Highly Energy-Efficient Home Owners

Home Inspector with HomeSafe Inspection

Higher fuel costs will likely lead to higher utility bills for homeowners across the U.S. this summer. But improving your home's energy efficiency can be as simple as kicking a few bad habits and starting a few good ones:
  1. Take more showers. Showers typically use less water than baths. You can save additional money by installing water-saving shower heads. This helps lower your heating bills by using less energy to heat less water.
  2. Run your heat-generating appliances - i.e., washers, dryers and ovens - during the cooler hours of the morning or evening. That eases the load on your air conditioning system in the summertime and actually helps heat your house during wintertime.
  3. Clean your dryer's lint filter after every load. Whenever possible, wait until you have a full load of clothes before washing and drying.
  4. Use the right stovetop burner for the right pan size to avoid wasted energy. Keep in mind that a flat-bottomed pan makes better contact and conducts heat more efficiently from the burner's element than a pot with a warped or round bottom.
  5. Think about switching out your old incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs emit roughly four times as many lumens per watt as an incandescent bulb - for example, a 25-watt fluorescent bulb provides as much light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb. Yet fluorescent bulbs last about ten times as long as incandescents.
  6. Set your thermostat a little higher than usual this summer - many experts recommend a setting of 78 degrees Farenheit.
  7. Keep the drapes and curtains closed on the sunny side of the house to block out all that excess heat.
  8. Use an exhaust fan to pull excess heat and humidity from warmer areas of the house, such as the bathroom and the kitchen.
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Comments (3)

Gil Garcia
Prudential California Realty - Rohnert Park, CA
Rohnert Park,CA Real Estate
Great tips, thats what we need more information for the consumer, is time to start getting serios about saving energy. thanks Philip
Jun 22, 2007 06:38 AM
Angie Vandenbergh
Crye-Leike, Realtors - Memphis, TN
A Crye-Leike Blogger
I just put in my first compact fluorescent bulbs. I normally have my thermostat on 70 in the summar. I've moved up to 74 with the ceiling fans on. I just can't bring myself to go to 78. I wonder sometimes if there are really homes where you feel comfortable at 78. I just sweat constantly if my house is at 78. Heaven forbid if I am working around the house :)  This is a good quick list though. I think there are always things we can do to help improve things. A little here and there starts to add up.
Jun 22, 2007 08:26 AM
Kimberly Grant
Exit Leon Crawford Realty - Huntsville, AL
Real Estate Agent - Huntsville Alabama
This is a good list. I see some things on there that I didn't know.  I have recently started trying to conserve more energy and I'm always looking for good tips.  Thank you!!
Jun 22, 2007 08:34 AM