Energy Efficiency Checkist

Ways to Save Money

Free things that cost nothing and save cash!

Turn down water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Turn off lights when leaving a room.

Set thermostats to 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter when your home and down to 62 degrees Fahrenheit when you go to bed or when you’re away. Set thermostats to 76 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when home and 82 degrees Fahrenheit when not home when running the air conditioner in the summer (programmable thermostats do this automatically-see below).

Use energy-saving settings on washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators.

Don’t waste water, hot or cold, inside or outside your home.

Clean your refrigerator’s or freezer’s condenser coils once a year.

Air-dry your clothes outdoors.

Close heating vents in unused rooms.

Repair leaky faucets and toilets (5% of water “use” is leakage.

Close drapes (and windows) during sunny summer days and after sunset in the winter.

Remove underused apppances pke garage refrigerators from service and have them recycled.

Remove halogen torchieres from service.

Simple and inexpensive things that will pay for themselves in lower energy bills and less than a year!

Install a water-saving 2.5-gallon-per-minute showerhead ($15).

Install water-efficient faucet heads for your kitchen and bathroom sinks ($2 each).

Install a programmable thermostat ($26).

In the attic and basement, plug the air leaks a cat could crawl through and replace and re-putty broken window panes (about $20).

Clean or change the air filter on your warm-air heating system during the winter and on air conditioning units in the summer ($2-$15).

Install a R-7 or R-11 water heater wrap ($12).

Insulate the first six feet of hot and inlet cold water pipes ($6).

Install a compact fluorescent pght bulb in the fixture you use the most ($15).

Getting serious-measures that collectively will cost up to $500 and have paybacks of one to three years (these activities will have an impact on IAQ).

Get a comprehensive energy audit, including a blower door test, to identify sources of air infiltration.

Cauck and weatherize all leaks identified by the test. Start with the attic and basement first (especially around plumbing and electrical penetrations and around the framing that rests on the foundation), then weatherize windows and doors.

Seal and insulate warm-air heating (or cooling) ducts.

Have heating and cooling systems tuned up every year or two.

Install additional faucet aerators, efficient showerheads and programmable thermostats.

Make insulating shades for your windows and add insulating storm windows (or in a southern climate, shade sunny windows and add solar gain control films).

Insulate hot water pipes in unheated basements or crawlspaces.

Replace failed appliances with Energy Star models at little incremental cost.

Going all the way measures that will save a lot of energy and money, but will take three to fifteen years to pay for themselves (mechanical ventilation should also be present at this level of activity).

Foundation: insulate inside rim joist and down the foundation wall to below frostline to R-10. Remember to caulk the rim joist and sill areas first.

Basement: insulate the ceiling above crawlspaces or unheated basements to at least R-19 in cold climates. If your basement is heated, insulate the inside of basement walls to R-10. Basement or Foundation insulation is usually not needed in hot climates. You should install a ground vapor retarder if none is present.

Attic: increase attic insulation to R-38.

Walls: adding wall insulation is more difficult and expensive, but may be cost-effective if your house is uncomfortable and if you have empty wall cavities. Installing insulation at high density will also greatly reduce air leakage.

Install more compact fluorescent bulbs. Put them in your most frequently used fixtures including those outdoors (2 or more hours of use per day).

Replace exterior incandescent lights with compact fluorescents and put them on a timer or motion sensor if they’re on more than a couple of hours a night.

Convert to solar water heating, and perhaps also supplementary solar space heating.

Upgrade your water heater, furnace, boiler, air conditioners and refrigerators more efficient models (refer to Energy Star). Newer units are far more efficient. Upgrading is often cost-effective, and definitely so if you need to replace failing units anyways. Also, if you’ve weatherized an insulated, you’ll be able to downsize the heating and cooling system. If the house is tight, use only sealed combustion appliances. If the air handler will be used for ventilation, or even when the furnace runtime will be long, choose an ECM.

Upgrade to super insulating, or at least low-emissivity windows in cold climates, or low solar transmittance windows in hot climates, if replacement is needed.

Replace high-flow toilets with modern water-efficient toilets that use 50-80 percent less water.

Install awnings or build removable trellises over windows that overheat your home in the summer.

Plant a tree to shade your largest west window in the summer. You won’t save any money for years, but you’ll get an A+ for long-range vision.