The spaces around your windows and doors often are the culprit when air is leaking from or into your home. Closing these gaps can reduce the demand on your heating and cooling system, and when paired with adding insulation to your home, can save up to 10% on energy bills. It's possible to weatherstrip all windows and doors in your home in a single day.
To know how to stop air from escaping your home, you need to know the most common places where it gets in and out and how to spot the openings in the building's outer walls, ceilings and floors.
The biggest leaks are often found in the attic or in the basement. Major leaks also can be found around plumbing, ducts and wiring penetrations through floors and walls. The sum of these small openings can equal as much airflow as an open window.
Insulating window treatments like cellular shades are a great year-round investment for your house. Not only do they retain heat in the winter and keep the house cooler in the summer, but they also block out UV rays . All of that adds up to lower energy bills and comfort for years to come.
Widows and doors are a common culprit of air leaks in the home. If you find that weatherstripping your doors and windows isn't doing the air-sealing trick, it might be time to replace them for more energy-efficient models. Look for ENERGY STAR® windows and doors for the highest energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR® windows and doors save you up to $500 a year, depending on the climate. And there are many benefits—less maintenance, noise-cancellation and better insulation, to name just a few. Also, over time, your investment in energy-efficient windows will pay for itself.
When properly used, programmable thermostats help save energy by adjusting the temperature when you are away from home. Many models have four different temperature settings, letting you choose a different temperature for different times of the day. In the winter, setting the thermostat so that the temperature is lowered five degrees at night and 10 degrees from your home's normal temperature during the time that you are away, can save you money on your utility bills.
If your HVAC system is trying to circulate air through dirty filters, it works harder and costs you more to heat or cool your home. Changing or cleaning filters monthly – or at least every three months – will make it easier on your heating and cooling system and will even make the air in your home cleaner and healthier for your family. Also, don't ignore HVAC system maintenance. Servicing your heating and cooling system every one or two years can cut your bills by 3% to 10%.
Standard incandescent light bulbs use more than 90% of their energy to generate heat, not light.
An ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) is the most energy-efficient of all light bulbs, using 75% less energy and lasting up to 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.
Replacing an incandescent bulb with a CFL can save about $40 or more in electricity costs over the bulb's lifetime.
All toilets manufactured today use half the water of older models—1.6 gallons instead of 3.5 per flush—as mandated by the U.S. Department of Energy, since 1992. If you're still using a toilet made before then, think about installing a new model to save money on your water bill. And replacement is easy with basic know-how and tools. Lowe's has a wide selection of low-flow models available.
ENERGY STAR®-qualified light fixtures use compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and distribute light more efficiently and evenly than standard light fixtures, while saving you money on electricity. These energy-saving fixtures are available in a number of decorative styles to match your décor. Lowe's has a wide selection of fixtures and all shapes and sizes of CFLs for your home.
Replacing your standard light switches with dimmer switches gives you flexibility in the amount of light you need or want to use, and allows you to save energy by selecting that perfect amount.
It doesn't take too much effort to use your home's hot water efficiently. Simply rethinking your hot water-use habits and performing a couple of quick adjustments to fixtures can make sure you conserve water and the energy used to heat it. The following are some examples of how you can get big savings on water and energy:
Many people don't think of saving water when thinking of saving money. Yet, there are many easy ways to decrease the amount of water used in your household. Two of them are installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.
A low-flow showerhead uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM) as opposed to 6 GPM from old showerheads. That means you can save 35 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower, which saves your furnace from heating more water, too.
Installing a low-flow aerator on your kitchen faucet also reduces water use greatly (faucets made after 1994 already have these). Combining low-flow showerhead and aerator use with a change in habits, the average family can save thousands of gallons of water per year.
ENERGY STAR® dishwashers and clothes washers use less electricity, but they also reduce your water usage as well, without sacrificing the performance you need to get your washing done. Qualified dishwashers are at least 40% more efficient than non-ENERGY STAR®-qualifying models and qualifying clothes washers use about 55% less water and 40%-50% less energy. With the water saved—up to 7,000 gallons—from using energy-efficient washers, you could do over 300 loads of laundry a year.
Installing ENERGY STAR® appliances in your home can save you up to 15% on your home's monthly utility bill because they use 10% to 70% less energy than standard models. For example, the energy saved every year using an ENERGY STAR® clothes washer is enough to run your TV for nearly two months. Lowe's has a wide selection of the appliances you need to upgrade your kitchen and laundry room.
Installing a ceiling fan in your home is a cool idea — especially when it comes to saving money. When you install a ceiling fan in your home, you're not only keeping it cool in the summer, but warm in the winter months too. This means you save money all year. Lowe's has step-by-step instructions as well as a video to guide you through the installation process.
Installing a more efficient faucet is a great way to save money and a precious resource. WaterSense labeled bathroom sink faucets and accessories can reduce a sink's water flow by 30 percent or more with the same performance.
Do your part — bring your rechargeable batteries, plastic
bags, and CFLs to the Recycling Center at Lowe's.
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