RX at Your House: Five Tips to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient

1. Seal all the holes!

Regardless of your home’s insulation level, sealing gaps and leaks in walls and around windows and doors with nontoxic caulk or sealant is worth the effort and cost.

2. Select efficient lighting fixtures.

This is one of the few areas apartment dwellers can control. You might not be able to change your kitchen appliances, but
you can change your light bulbs.

3. Use water-saving fixtures and fittings.

Choose water-saving faucet aerators and showerheads. Go to www.epa.gov/watersense for the most current water-saving products. Go to www.cuwcc.org/maptesting.aspx for up-to-date low-flush toilet tests.

4. Improve ventilation if possible.

Though installing an overall ventilation system is impossible in situations like Jill’s, installing small, location-based ventilation can help control moisture and odor. Get an exhaust fan to keep bathrooms from growing mold or to help unventilated kitchens expel cooking odors.

5. Buy energy-efficient appliances.

Anything you can afford to replace will help reduce your bills. (Tell your landlord you’re buying a more efficient fridge and ask her to put the old one in storage. Of course, take yours with you when you move.) Make sure to choose energy-efficient small appliances such as toasters and coffee makers. Go to www.energystar.gov for a great selection of efficient appliances.

Published on Feb 19, 2009

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