We are all looking for ways to save money. I have been doing some research on saving money when it comes to energy expenses. Here are ten inexpensive things you can do to help save energy and money:
Compact fluorescent light bulbs
Price: $2.00 to $3.00
Description: The CFL, as it is called, is longer-lasting and more efficient than the incandescent bulb. All fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, though, so just make sure that you dispose of them correctly.
Savings: Around $10 per year per bulb.
Window insulator kit
Price: About $20
Description: An hour or so with a window insulator kit - which requires the use of a portable hair dryer - is an easy and cost-effective way to keep out drafts.
Savings: Windows and doors account for about 11 percent of heat loss in a home, so insulating windows could pay you back in a matter of a few months.
Price: $41.95 for the 10-outlet
Description: This device allows you to turn off the "power sucker" devices - like VCRs and DVD players that cost you around $4 a year, even when idle - when you turn off another device, like a TV. At the same time, it lets you keep power going to things that need to stay on, so your DVR will still be able to record your favorite programs overnight.
Savings: Use it to control six or seven devices and it can pay for itself in energy savings within a year.
Price: $10 to $20
Description: Especially in older buildings, drafts coming in under the doors can account for 20 percent of a home's heat loss. You can find lots of door draft stoppers in home improvement stores or online, but if you're a crafty sort, you can also take the leg of an old pair of jeans, sew up the ends and fill it with buckwheat or sand, or even clean kitty litter.
Savings: Varies from house to house.
Low-flow shower heads
Price: around $12
Description: Not only do low-flow shower heads save water, they also help save on energy because you'll use less hot water. Federal regulations require that new shower heads cut the water flow to 2.5 gallons per minute, but this low-flow shower head can bring your water flow as low as 1.2 to 1.4 gallons per minute, which for most households means that it will cut down, not only on water used, but on the energy used to heat that water.
Savings: Recover the cost of the shower head within a few months.
Price: $20 to $30
Description: Wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket will reduce the amount of heat lost through the tank's walls by about 25 to 45 percent.
Savings: They'll pay for themselves in reduced heating bills in a matter of months.
Price: $3.29 for a package of 12 caps.
Description: Electrical wall outlets are another small, often overlooked culprit for drafts. Plug them up with plastic child safe plugs and keep out small fingers and drafts at the same time.
Savings: Overall heating cost savings varies.
Lamp socket auto-off light control
Description: If lights are consistently left on in places like the bathroom, the garage or the closet, this little gadget inserted in the socket automatically switches off the light after 15 minutes, and it works with both incandescent bulbs and CFLs.
Savings: Say a 100-watt light is left on each night for 10 hours, the auto-off control would pay for itself in a few months.
Price: $149.99 for the KitchenAid 7-quart KSC700. (This is the top-of-the-line slow cooker!)
Description: If you can't afford a new Energy Star stove, think about investing in a slow cooker, especially if you like to make casseroles or large batches of food like beef stew or cassoulet. Good slow cookers can range from the $19.99 to $279.95. Mine was $39.99, and I love it! I use it at least once a week!
Savings: Varies, but the typical slow cooker will have used less than a kilowatt of power after seven hours of cooking.
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