1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

100 ways to save energy

May 6, 2013
100 ways to save energy
  • Hit the edit button (above right) and place your short ideas below. You can also change the categories, add categories, etc. Notice the small code tags which make the text in-between bold or italic


    Home Heating
    Install a programmable thermostat
    Open shades/blinds during the day in the winter months and close then after sun down

    Space Heating and cooling
    Use a wood stove
    Use a pellet stove
    Use an efficient gas fireplace or stove
    Turn your thermostat back 5 degrees
    Get a smaller house, or close off portions during the winter
    Use portable fans to circulate heat
    Re-line and insulate chimney to get the most heating benefit from stove.
    Burn well seasoned wood

    Central Heating
    Swap out that old burner/furnace to a high efficiency Unit
    Change furnace filter often on hot air units
    Clean and adjust oil or gas burners (furnaces and boilers) Consider a motorized Damper
    Insulate all heating ducts, pipes and hot water pipes to R 5.0 Consider additional hot water tank insulation
    Insulate ,(R-5,0 or greater) and seal ducts , especially those traveling through unconditioned spaces.
    One of the more effective ways to increase a overall effeciency and heat loss prevention

    Drop down second floor ceiling returns to high low controlled (with dampers) wall locations.
    If your home has only one central located hall return, then you should add separate bedroom returns

    Home Cooling
    Shade windows during the summer
    Install a solar attic ventilation fan
    Consider a whole house fan instead of AC
    Plant or save shade trees

    Space Cooling
    Use inexpensive window units to cool just the areas where you live


    Home Building and Remodeling
    Consider having an energy audit and infired scan to help locate problem areas,
    that need attention. Many utility companies offer audits free to their customers
    Use compact fluorescent lighting
    Switch to LCD monitor and TV
    Insulate - attic, walls, floor (or basement walls)
    Build smaller, use space more efficiently
    LowE windows
    Caulk
    Unplug electronics (or use a programmable timer) when not in use. Standby uses energy too.
    Turn off lights when not occupying the area
    Thermal or insulated drapes/curtains on windows
    New construction - centrally interior locate fireplace/wood/pellet stove
    Plant deciduous trees on southern exposures
    Orientate you home to take advantages of collecting passive solar radiation. Once
    collected, incorporate solid storage mass to absorb heat after sun down energy
    Replace all major appliances with energy star rated ones
    Consider solar heating or hot water options. Possibly photoelectric as well
    Look into Geothermal heating and cooling systems
    Reduce northern exposure s to a miniun.
    Plant trees to the northern exposure to create a wind screen

    Inside the home
    Use compact fluorescent bulbs throughout your house. 9 watts comsumtion=40watts light.13 watts consumed =60watt light.18 watts consumed =75 wt light &22wt;consumed =100 wt light.
    New 120volt led lights are here now, but currently expensive. They use even less electricity than compact fluorescents, but I am waiting for improvements in led tech to drop the price down.
    Don't open the front door & then turn around & start talking to your host. If you do, close the door to stop freezing out the room. Same goes for summer time, dont make your host loose all his air conditioned air, close the door.
    When taking showers:
    a. Save the cold water that you get from the shower at first instead of letting it run down the drain.
    b. Take a modified military shower. Get wet, turn water off. Now wash completely before turning shower on again.
    Use cold water for laundry.
    Wear your pants and shirts multiple times before you wash them.
    Eat off the same plate all day, or at least the same cup.
    Know what you want in the refrigerator before opening it. Get what you want and close the door ASAP.
    Same thing for entry doors. Open them and close them ASAP. That is summer and winter.
    In summer pull curtains early am to prolong time before starting air conditioner whenever possible.
    The new electric dish washers use less HOT water than washing dishes by hand & letting the dishes air dry by opening the dishwasher door will save you the cost of the electric drying cycle.
    Stop using the clothes dryer. Hang laundry indoors during the heating season to add humidity and hang clothes outside in the summer. The clothes dryer does a great job of moving your indoor air (heated or cooled) and moving it outside. home depot & lowes sells a redirector box with a built in flapper that hooks into your dryer discharge vent hose, for about $12.oo so that in the summer you vent hot air outside & in the winter , you activate the flapper to redirect the dryer's hot ,moist air inside the house to help heat & humidify the house.
    You will gain about 35,000 to 40,000 btu/hr. of hot moist air. It is better to hang up clothes, but I never will again
    so the redirector box was a great option for me.
    If you have an electric hot water heater, you could consider turning the breaker to the hot water heater "off" when you leave the house for the day & putting it back "on" when you return home, but it will take 1 hour for the water to reheat.Compair this to keeping the water hot all day with no one home. It costs about $1.oo to $2.oo/ day
    to keep water hot with no one home & no usage. Cost me about 36.oo /month when my rental apt went vacant &
    I forgot to turn "off"the hot water heater.
    Outside the home
    Collect rain water, use it to water your gardens.
    Make compost to avoid shopping for purchased soil amendments, and save on your trash disposal/pickup.
    Grow your own vegies and/or fruit.

    Transportation
    Combine trips to as few times as possible
    Buy a smaller car or truck, honda civic & toyota corolla get 38 mpg,highway. I believe my 1.6 L civic gets 30 mpg in town.
    Toyota precis hybrid gets 51 mpg highway,41 mpg highway when recharging batteries & 65 mpg city, running all electric below 45mph. Other brand cars may get 34 up to 36mpg highway. thats epa estimates,your milage will vary depending on how many traffic jams you hit.
    Use a small trailer instead of a pickup truck. My honda civic still gets 36mpg highway towing a loaded 4'x8' trailer.
    Have a soft touch on the gas pedal
    Walk or bicycle
    Carpool with co-workers, neighbors to work or for shopping trips
    Keep tires inflated to proper levels
    In warmer months "fill up" only to 1/2 a tank
    Avoid the temptation to use the "drive thru" walk in instead
    Keep your car tuned up.
    USE public transportation
    Use AC instead of opening a window on the highway.
    Keep the exterior clean and waxed, whcih helps reduce drag. (this is NOT true!)
    Don't keep a lot of (heavy) crap inside your car, reduced mass equals improved economy.
    Keep the tailgate up on pickups.
    Don't idle your car to warm it up.
    Don't talk to your friends with the car window open & the engine running for 30 minutes or even 2 minutes. Shut engine off.
    Commercial Buildings
    Use warm air recovery for on fresh air ventilation
    Silver or white coat black tar roofs
    Use hot water recovery system to preheat incoming street water
    Capitalize on solar gain to heat water and generate power
    Insulate
    Install automatic room light shut offs for when unoccupied
    Install programmable thermostats and cover with lock boxes to prevent tampering.
    Tint major exposure windows to reflect solar radiation.
    Design, build and remodel for maximum natural light.