Top 10 No-Cost Conservation Measures
- Lower your daytime thermostat setting: Each one degree of set back equals a 2% fuel saving.
- Turn your thermostat lower at night and while at work: Turning down your thermostat from 65 to 55 degrees for 12 hours a day would result in a 10% fuel saving.
- Lower the temperature of your hot water tank to 120 degrees: A 10-degree reduction in the hot water temperature would save $72 if you had an electric tank and $56 if you used LP.
- Make sure your exterior doors shut tightly: Adjusting the lockset striker plate to make sure the door closes tightly against the door weatherstrip could save $7 in your heating bill.
- Wash you clothes in cold water: Switching from a hot/cold wash to a cold/cold wash would save between $40 and $70 per year.
- Air dry your clothes whenever possible: Reducing your dryer usage in half would save between $40 and $90 a year depending upon the size of your household.
- Shut off lights and other appliances when not in use: Shutting off lights when you leave a room and turning off electronic devices when not is use could reduce you electric bill by as much as 5%
- Do not let the hot water run when not using: Only turning on the hot water while actual washing or shaving can save up to $20 a year.
- Close window shades or drapes at night and open in the morning: Closing window shades or drapes can help reduce air drafts and increase you comfort.
- Close window latches and fireplace dampers: Button down the house for the winter and make sure all opening to the outside are shut
Top 10 Low-Cost Conservation Measures
- Install a set-back thermostat: A setback thermostat cost between $40 and $60 and will allow you to automatically adjust the temperature lower at night and while at work. Most thermostats have weekend settings and have a manual override. Fuel saving can range between 5% and 15%.
- Insulate the hot water pipes: Insulating the hot water pipes in the basement and especially in unheated crawl spaces will save money and provides hot water quicker to the faucet. A 6-foot section of pipe insulation cost between $3 and $4. Insulating a 25-foot section of pipe with foam pipe insulation could save up to $18 a year.
- Insulate the hot water tank: Install a water tank fiberglass tank wrap and you can save between $25 and $30 a year. The tank wrap typically costs $20.
- Replace your existing showerheads with a low-flow fixture: A low flow showerhead costs around $20 and can save between $50 and $80 a year.
- Caulk and insulate the band joist in the basement and crawl space: Caulking and placing insulation around the band joist in the typical basement measuring 28 feet by 36 feet would costs $36 for caulk and $50 for R-11 fiberglass insulation. Annual saving would range between $125 and $175.
- Weatherstrip and insulate attic hatches, kneewall access doors and fold-down attic stairs: Making the access into the attic or kneewall area air tight and insulated will save between $20 and $30 a year. The cost to weatherstrip and insulate the hatch or kneewall door ranges between $ 25 and $35. Sealing a fold-down stairway will cost between $50 and $75.\
- Caulk and plug air gaps, holes and cracks throughout the house: Air infiltration can account over 30% of your annual heat loss. Caulking and sealing all the unwanted leaks into the home will improve your comfort and reduce heating costs. The typically house will require a few cans of spray foam and 12 to 16 tubes of caulk. Cost for materials will average about $75. Some areas to look for leaks include: baseboards, door and window trim, ceiling and walls, pipe and wire penetrations between floors and walls, gaps, and gaps around heating ducts and the floor. Savings can range between $100 and$300 a year.
- Seal chases around chimneys and other open channels between floors, especially between the basement and the attic: Open chases especially those between the basement and the attic are some of the most heat-grabbing culprits in a structure. Chimneys require metal flashing and high temperature caulk while other opening can be sealed with a variety of items such as, foam, drywall, fiberglass, rigid insulation, and plastic. The costs are low but the results will help to reduce infiltration and lower your heating bills.
- Install interior window storms or insulated drapes or shades: Interior window storms may be very inexpensive plastic sheathing or a glass insert designed to fit over the window frame. Costs would range between $10 and $50 per window and would save between $6 and $12 per window. An insulated drape or shade could be homemade for $45 or custom made for over $200. The extra-insulated value of the shade or drape will increase your savings slightly more than the interior storm.
- Replace worn door weather-stripping: Over time, the original door weatherstrip including the door sweep will need to be replaced. Replacement weatherstrip kits for all types of doors are available. Cost range between $20 and $30. Annual savings will range between $8 and $12.