The staff here at Retrofit Baltimore truly believes in sustainable living…not to mention saving a few extra dollars. Retrofitting your home on average ends up making a home 30% more energy efficient and is the best way to lower your carbon footprint and save money throughout the life of your home. However, even after you have had a home energy retrofit there are additional ways to become more efficient and save additional money. Here are additional steps you can take to save money and reduce your use of fossil fuels:
1. Cut down on “Phantom Load”
Electronics such as televisions, phone chargers and microwaves will continue to use electricity even when not in use. On average this unused electricity accounts for at least 5% of a household’s energy use. Reduce this phantom load by unplugging electronics when not in use, or by plugging multiple devices into a power strip and turn off the whole strip when in disuse.
2. Switch to Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL’s)
CFL’s last ten times longer than standard light bulbs and use one-fourth as much energy, and will generally pay for themselves in under six months.
3. Turn Down Your Thermostat
Turn down the temperature on your thermostat during the winter and turn it up during the summer. A change of 3 degrees can end up saving you more than $20 per month. Programmable thermostats are also a good investment and can automatically decrease your energy usage while you are gone or while asleep.
4. Wrap Your Hot Water Heater and Turn Down the Temperature
Wrap your hot water heater with an insulating jacket and turn the temperature down to 120 degrees.
5. Regular Cleaning of Refrigerator Coils
Pull your fridge away from the wall and clean the coils every six months. The refrigerator is often the biggest energy using appliance at home and can use $120 in electricity yearly. Cleaning the coils will make your fridge function more efficiently.
6. Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Setting your washer to the Cold/Cold setting will save a lot of electricity. With modern washing machines and detergents, a cold wash will clean clothes just as well as hot water but will use half the electricity. Save additional energy by skipping the dryer and air-drying clothes.
These are just a few tips to help you save money and energy, but the biggest, first step in reducing your energy needs is to schedule a home energy assessment by a Home Performance with Energy Star certified professional. If you have not already done so, please contact Retrofit Baltimore and we will act as your advocate through the process.