Going Green - 10 ways to save energy

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Platinum


Going Green - 10 ways to save energy


1. Minimize Phantom Loads

The term “phantom load” refers to the energy that an appliance or electronic device consumes when it is not actually turned on. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), “In the average home, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.  You can eliminate phantom loads by unplugging appliances and electronics when you are not using them, or by plugging them into a power strip, and turning the strip off when they are not in use.

2. Use More Energy-efficient Appliances

 If you are shopping for new appliances, make sure to look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label before making a purchase. Energy Star appliances use between 10 and 50 percent less energy and water than their conventional counterparts. They may cost more than appliances without the Energy Star designation, but in most cases they will more than make up that additional cost through energy savings.

 3. Change Your Light Bulbs

 One of the least expensive and most effective changes you can make in your home is replacing your light bulbs. According to Energy Star, one of its qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), which cost just a few dollars, “will save about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months. It uses 75 percent less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.


4. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats work by automatically adjusting your home’s temperature to your schedule, keeping it comfortable only when you need it to be. If you don’t already adjust your thermostat throughout the day, a programmable thermostat could save you as much as 15 percent on heating and cooling costs.

5. Use Fans for Cooling

In the summer, use stationary, ceiling and whole-house fans to cool your home, reducing the need for air conditioning. Simple Ways to Cool Your Home and Save Big explains that for every degree you raise your thermostat, you reduce your cooling costs between 7 and 10 percent

6. Seal Air Leaks

 In addition to thinking about whether your home has enough insulation, you should also look for any small cracks and gaps where air is leaking into and out of your home.

7. Make Windows More Efficient

 Even if you seal windows well, window glass is a thin barrier against outside temperatures. If you can afford it, install new storm windows in your home.  If you can’t install new storm windows, there are other simple and inexpensive ways to improve the energy efficiency of your windows. You can cover windows with transparent material to improve insulation. Use bubble wrap for this, and estimates that it can reduce heat loss from a window by half or winter window treatments are other ways to make your windows more efficient, including using insulated shades and window quilts.

8. Improve Insulation

 The Energy Star program estimates that more than 50 percent of a home’s energy use goes toward heating and cooling. Beefing up the insulation in your house’s attic, walls, floors and ceilings slows the flow of air between inside and outside, making it easier to control your home’s temperature. The easiest place to add insulation in your home is the attic.

9. Conserve Water

 Using less water will lower your water bill. And when you use less hot water, you’ll also see savings in your gas bill, or your electric bill if you have an electric water heater.  To cut down on water use, take faster showers and be conscious of the water you use when washing dishes and clothes and preparing food. You can also save energy by lowering your hot water temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          10.) Plant Trees and Shrubs

Planting shade trees around your home can lower your summer energy bill by reducing your home’s exposure to the sun. Properly placed tress can cut your summer electric bill by up to 40 percent. Energy savings from a tree varies greatly depending on its size and location in relation to your house. Planting shrubs and bushes around your home can improve insulation in the summer and winter. If they are planted 1 foot away from your home, they create a dead airspace that shields against cold or hot outdoor temperatures.

Victoria Lorusso
Illustrated Properties - North Palm Beach, FL
Florida and CT Real Estate

Excellent!  RE #6 there are companies that will comed out and test your home for air leaks and then they will seal them up.  I had mine in CT done through an energy company that was hired by the power company.

Mar 01, 2013 04:39 AM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Joel - Thank you for sharing detailed list of information about ten ways to save energy going green.

Mar 01, 2013 07:04 AM
David Stevens
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty, Victoria BC Canada - Victoria, BC
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty

Hi Joel - those are great ways to save energy, and especially going green!


Mar 02, 2013 01:19 AM
Rachell Lara Realtor
Real Brokerage/ 619.316.7445 - San Diego, CA
San Diego Real Estate Guide

Great tips Joel, some of them are what you expect and others make you think. Always good to move toward the GREEN.

Mar 04, 2013 10:39 AM
Sharon & Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette, IN - Lafayette, IN
West Lafayette homes for sale
Joel, these energy saving tips are great! I need to start working on those phantom loads. Lots of wasted energy in our home in that department.
Mar 07, 2013 08:46 PM
Lee & Carol Barbour, REALTORS
Murphy and Hayesville, NC; Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge GA - Murphy, NC
Mountain Living Team in Murphy NC and North GA

Easy and doable steps for conserving and going Green!

Mar 08, 2013 04:21 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
HomeSmart Stars - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Next week I'm making a phone call to get a recirculator for my water. Tired of running the tap forever to get hot water. It's wasteful.


Mar 16, 2013 09:13 AM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Once you get a roll it's actually pretty simple to go Green and save money too.  Good tips my friend!

Mar 19, 2013 02:35 AM