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Easy Ways To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Jun 11, 2008
The average home spends a whopping $1500 annually on energy costs an energy bottom line that is much bigger than it needs to be, because a significant portion of that energy is wasted and lost. The good news is, changing just a few simple things around your house can make a big difference and save a lot of energy and money.

More than 10% of a home's energy is consumed by light bulbs. By changing from standard incandescent bulb to compact florescent bulbs (CFLs), you can cut that consumption dramatically. A CFL uses 2/3 less energy and comes in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes. Although the initial cost is a little higher than the traditional bulb, a CFL lasts twice as long and saves more than enough money in energy costs to pay for itself twice over.

Another way to save some money and energy is by using ceiling fans. Circulating the air in your home allows you to set your thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter. Energy Star rated ceiling fans do the job even better, moving air more efficiently and using less energy than traditional ceiling fans.

Insulating your home is another way to stop energy loss. By checking the seals around doors and windows, you can prevent leaks and drafts that make your home inefficient by replacing old, worn-out weather-stripping and caulking. Adding door sweeps beneath outside access doors also increases insulation. Remember, windows and doors aren't the only place air leaks can occur. Also make sure vents, recessed lighting and the attic accesses are properly sealed.

Planting shade trees and wind breaks (such as evergreen trees) in your yard can also help with heating and cooling your home, in addition to beautifying the earth. All it takes is a little planning and the results can make a big impact on your energy bill. Shade trees should be planted on the sunny south side of your house, no closer than 15 feet to your home (otherwise the roots of the tree can cause problems with your homes foundation). Windbreaks are most effective on the northwest side of the house, planted in staggered or double rows.

These are just a few of the multitude of easy ways you can lower your energy consumption. There are many more, including unplugging unused appliances, turning off a light when you leave a room, and using cold water to wash your laundry. By following some of these simple tips you can make the planet a better place by using less energy and put some extra money in your wallet.
About the Author
Ki lives in central Texas. He has a site about Austin Texas real estate which includes a graphical search for Austin Homes. Ki also authors a blog covering Austin real estate.
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