Finding the Right Energy Saving Products for Your Home

Energy efficiency in the home starts with a plan. Every home is different, with different needs, histories, and appliances. Energy saving products in one home don’t necessarily have the same results in another, so it’s best to start by identifying where in your home you use the most energy, and tackling those areas first.

Though energy use differs by household, on average our homes use 10,000 kWh/year, although the number varies by region. Heat and cooling combine to eat up about half of all household consumption, but lights, electronics, and appliances make their mark as well. Finding ways to save in one or more areas can lower your monthly bills and your environmental footprint.

Free Energy Evaluations

Your energy utility may offer free energy evaluations for your home or charge a small fee. This is a great way to find drafts, leaks, and holes. You or a professional should also check out flues and dampers in fireplace chimneys, a common way that heat escapes.

Standard energy saving products for heating are insulation, double-paned windows, air filters, and programmable thermostats. These types of products help your home use its heat energy more efficiently, keeping the heat in and the drafts out. Simple, low cost items like air filters, which should be replaced yearly, help keep your home system running smoothly.

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Use a Kill-A-Watt To Measure Power Usage

To measure the amount of electricity your appliances and electronics use in your home, the Kill A Watt is a handy gadget. You plug it in to the wall, then plug your electronic device into the gadget, and it measures the energy use of the device over a period of time. The Kill A Watt helps identify the largest energy users in your home, which should be the first targets in improving efficiency.

If you don’t want to invest in a Kill a Watt or other electronic measuring device, there are websites that list average or model-based energy use of electronics and appliances, such as Based on your devices and how you use them, you can estimate your energy use and where you can make improvements.

When you’ve made your energy audit and decided which appliances and electronics to switch out, a little research on these items can help you interpret the efficiency claims of different brands. Most appliances come with an Energy Guide label estimating the amount of energy consumption of the product and similar products, but for electronics you’re on your own.

Energystar Appliances

Energystar, an EPA program, certifies appliances and electronics that are more efficient or use less energy than standard models. Certain models have rebate incentives, so even though their prices can be higher, the rebate can be up to half the cost of the appliance. There are also specific tax incentives for individuals who invest in energy efficient products.

Low Energy Lighting

Low Energy lighting is the final area of energy consumption that can lead to high energy savings. Products such as solar outdoor lights, LED lights, CFL bulbs, and motion sensors all have the potential to lower your energy use. These types of products are in addition to the savings you can realize by keeping lights turned off whenever possible.

There are many options and certifiers these days to help households reduce energy consumption. The best energy saving products are those that target your specific household consumption, and that reduce the most energy use. Knowing how you use energy and where to find reliable information about the various products available will assure your success in saving money by reducing your energy footprint.

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As the prices of solar energy continues to fall, more and more home owners are turning to residential solar energy to reduce their power use and save on the escalating costs of power.

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