How to Save Your Energy Dollars

January 4, 2008

Unless you live in someplace like Hawaii, your energy dollars will likely take a major hit during the winter season due to heating costs, and another slap in the summer, in order to keep your grass green. How can you save on you energy dollars, giving less to the utility company and keeping more money in your pocket?

Make sure your home is well insulated against the heat and the cold. If air leaks in or out, your energy dollars will leak out of your pocket as well. For example, my home is only 300 square feet larger than my mom’s. Yet, her utility bills are far less. Why? For one, I have a wall air conditioner. Unless I cover the conditioner in winter, the cold air will seep in through the vents. Two, my dog scratches the insulation around the door frames. Major Leak. Three, I keep my house warmer all day; she turns her heat down at night.

Turn the heat down a couple of degrees. Personally, I like to keep my home a little warmer in the winter. With arthritis, it simply feels better. However, I have turned down the heat a little this season. With the rising cost of heating fuel, I didn’t want my utilities to be more than my house payment!

Instead, a nice warm blanket is free. Since I work at home, it is no big deal to wrap a throw over my lap during the day, when I am sitting still. When the kids come home, slippers and sweaters are great. Plus, they too love to snuggle under a blanket if they are sitting around watching television or reading a book.

Check out this list of energy saving tips from the Department of Energy.  In addition to the heating and insulation tips I just offered they cover how to reduce energy usage in your car or truck, with appliances & electronics, in your landscaping, lighting your home, water heating, and seasonal tips for summer and winter energy savings.

How do you save your energy dollars?



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4 Responses to How to Save Your Energy Dollars

  • en-er-gee

    Tina, i looked over your ideas of saving energy and I have to admit I’m impressed. You might want to get a tad more specific in some areas though. For example, you noted that trees should be used to shade your house. Thats true, but they should be deciduous trees that lose their leaves in the winter allowing heat to come IN. Also, you can evergreen trees, or another type of bushy tree on the northern side of your home that helps keep out the cold wind in winter months. As for the vines, these can cause damages to certain walls over time, but its especially affective with brick. As for your suggestions on lighting, those were perfect. Your recommendations on electronics was also good. A good way to test to see if a transformer is using energy is to feel it. If its warm, and its not plugged in to the device, its eating energy. You were correct in saying screen savers do not save energy, there original purpose was to keep the monitor from getting a ghost affect of a screen. If you left the monitor on your desktop screen for extended periods of time, that image will “burn” onto the screen so you also sorta see it. As i said, overall it was a wonderful group of suggestion, anyone that follows these tips will surely save money over time.

  • Tina


    You can get that clear plastic stuff that you put over the vents and windows, then use a hair drier to tighten. You can get it at a building supply store; or you can take a plastic garbage sack and tape it around the vent.

  • Frugal Dad

    The dog scratching the weather stripping around our doors is a constant problem in our house. I’ve replaced it at least half a dozen times!

    The other night I tried to get away with cutting the thermostat down a couple degrees, but my wife reminded me we have two small kids and made me bump it back up. I think her exact words were, “If you want to live in a igloo, build one in the backyard.”

  • Emily

    I have the same problem with my heating. I have a heating/air condition vent on the outside wall of my home and it constantly blows cold air into my house unless the heat is on. Do you know why this happens? What do you do to prevent it? Is this normal or is there something wrong with my house? I live in an old fixer upper and am tired of having cold air blown on me. I would appreciate if you could share your knowledge with me. Thanks!