Top 5 All-season Energy Saving Tips
CONDUCT A HOME ENERGY AUDIT - Home energy audits pinpoint what parts of your home's heating and cooling system and building structure are inefficient. They also enable the homeowner or auditor to determine what upgrades to your home will help you save the most energy and have the fastest payback period.
- Self-Assessment Tools - Tips on conducting your own energy audit, to help determine the most cost-effective way to reduce demand, can be found at energysavers.gov. The Kentucky Home Performance Program also offers a free self-assessment tool, as well as links to certified professional home energy auditors.
- Professional Home Energy Auditors - Auditors use a variety of equipment and techniques to assess how much energy is consumed in your home and where energy is lost. For example, a calibrated blower door determines where air is leaking from your home. An infrared camera detects temperature differences to identify thermal defects and determine if insulation is needed. A home energy audit may also determine whether your heating and cooling system is efficient, and whether your duct work is properly sized.
The cost of an audit varies, depending on the auditor you choose and the type of equipment used. Incentives may be available or your energy company may provide audits at reduced prices and incentives to customers who implement the recommended improvements. To find an auditor in Kentucky, contact your local electric or natural gas provider, or visit the Certified Rater Directory compiled by the Residential Energy Services Network or the Kentucky Home Performance Program.
INSTALL A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT - You can save as much as 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 percent for 8 hours. You can do this automatically by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat. If purchasing a programmable thermostat, look for the EnergyStar label.
INSTALL EFFICIENT LIGHTING – USE 50-75% LESS ENERGY – Installing energy efficient lighting one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. An average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50 to 75 percent. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs) and outdoor solar lighting can all contributed to lower energy bills.
REPLACE OUTDATED APPLIANCES WITH ENERGYSTAR APPLIANCES - EnergyStar appliances can cut energy bills by 15 to 30 percent. Further, incentives, rebates and tax credits are available for homeowners purchasing appliances or making other energy efficient upgrades to their homes. See the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence (DEDI) for a summary of available incentives, rebates and tax credits.
MAXIMIZE EFFICIENCY OF CURRENT APPLIANCES – If not replacing, you can maximize energy savings by using current appliances more efficiently. Run the dishwasher only when it is fully loaded and turn the heated drying selection off. Clean the coils on the back of the refrigerator and make sure the door seals are airtight.
TURN OFF OR USE "SLEEP" MODE TO POWER DOWN COMPUTERS & HOME OFFICE EQUIPMENT – Turn off your computer or use the “sleep” mode when not in use – you can save energy and reduce unnecessary heat to reduce air-conditioning needs. Reduce “phantom” energy loads by unplugging home office appliances or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance. Unplug battery and mobile device chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use.