What are some easy ways to save money around my home?
1. Dodge Drafts and Seal Air Leaks
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to save money around the house is to seal off drafts, which can reduce your energy bills 5 to 30 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. With today’s heating and cooling prices, that amounts to real money.
Use caulking or weather-stripping to seal cracks. Make sure you cover any pipe outlets or cracks in the foundation. Also roll up an old towel, or buy or make a cute ‘draft snake’ to put over the crack in the bottom of doors.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat will pay for itself in one season, and save you time and hassle. By maintaining more constant heating and cooling levels, and always ‘remembering’ to turn down the heat at night, the average family will save $150 a year, according to the EPA.
Most programmable thermostats cost as little as $50.
3. Fix Those Water Leaks
Besides driving you crazy, a dripping faucet can really add up to substantial water waste. One faulty faucet can waste up to 3 gallons of water per day.
Besides lower water bills, another added benefit of fixing a leak is that you will decrease the risk of mold, which is a serious threat both to your home value and health.
4. Install Low-Flow Showerheads and Toilets
Decades ago, toilets used 5 gallons per flush, but readily available low-flow models use less than a gallon, and work great. American Standard, Toto and Kohler are leaders in the field.
Installing a low-flow showerhead can slash bathing-water consumption 50 to 70 percent.
5. Buy Energy Star Appliances
Energy Star was designed by the EPA to take the guesswork out of appliance buying. Look for the blue-and-white label, which means the item is at least 10 to 50 percent more efficient than standard models.
A home fully equipped with Energy Star products will use about 30 percent less energy than a typical house, saving $600 a year. Go to energystar.gov to see qualified products and learn more. Also, “The Daily Green” is a great consumer’s guide to green from GoodHousekeeping.com.