Using Electricity Safely and Efficiently
Little Things Save a Lot
Energy efficiency does not
have to be expensive; just
follow a few simple steps
By Magen Howard
It is easy to get overwhelmed by two
words: energy efficiency. What should
I do? How should I do it? Do I have to
replace my entire heating and cooling
system to see savings?
The easy answer is no, you can do a lot
of upgrading with little money.
On your next trip to the home
improvement or local hardware store,
take this shopping guide with you. It lists
five areas where a few simple energy-efficiency investments will produce
savings right away.
Since lighting accounts for about 11
percent of home energy use, switch your
traditional incandescent light bulbs with
compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
An Energy Star-qualified CFL uses about
75 percent less energy than a traditional
bulb, lasts up to 10 times longer and can
save about $40 in energy costs over its
lifetime. A four-pack of 14-watt CFLs
(equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent)
runs about $6.
helps stop air leaks.
Filling the Cracks
A tube of caulk and a roll of weather
stripping can go a long way toward
saving money on your electricity bill.
It is easy to find where cold air leaks in
around doors and windows. Simply hold
your hand out and feel. Caulk around
windows, dryer vents and fans for about
$2 a tube, and weather strip around
doors for about $4 a roll.