Energy Efficiency Retrofits for Homes
Aging homes and even recent construction, require maintenance. This maintenance can be expanded to include simple energy efficient retrofits, such as:
- Digital Thermostat to control temps when the no one is home or automatically adjust to bedtimes and morning awakenings.
- Switch to Green Cleaners and implement green cleaning practices to reduce chemical disposal costs. Some suggestions on less costly "green" cleaning options is on our Cleaning Alternatives page.
- Lighting upgrades, using LED and compact fluorescents where appropriate.
- Installing motion detectors for outside lighting, and reminding family and friends to Turn Off Lights or use less light when a room has natural light.
- When replacing the roof, tear off old shingles and recycle them, install light colored shingles or consider a metal roof to save on cooling costs (dark roofs do not help with heating).
- Use Energy Star applicances whenever possible, they rate refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, washers, dryers, TVs, and much more!
- Insulate! Nearly every home can improve its insulation, so consider adding some in the attic, in the ceiling of the basement and in walls if financially feasible.
- Easy insulation for electric outlets: Many home improvement stores offer insulation kits with precut insulation to be placed under outlet covers in any outlets on outside walls. (Hold you hand to your outlet on a windy, cold day and you may feel outside air leaking in through the outlet.)
- Insulate around windows. Often people replace windows in hopes of saving energy but the window may not have been the issue. Before replacement or during, be sure to properly caulk around the window to prevent drafts where the window frame meets the wall.
- Native plantings on parts of the yard can reduce mowing, conserve water, aid in storm water control.
- Plant a Garden on part of the yard and grow some food, while reducing mowing.
- Start a compost for weeds, leaves, grass clippings and some food waste items. For detailed information, visit our Composting webpage.
- Decrease water use by installing a low-flow toliet, showerhead and faucets throughout the home.
- Consider adding rain barrels under your gutter spout to reduce watering needs in dry summer months.
- Consider installing solar to preheat water or for energy generation. For more information, click on our solar webpage.
- Consider geothermal retrofits to save on overall heating and cooling costs. For more information, click on our geothermal webpage.
There are many sources of additional information. Consider visiting these websites for more ideas and information:
Saving energy, saves money! Lower your utility costs, preserve natural resources and improve the environment - it's a Win-Win-Win!