The Best Way to Save Energy

It does not take long watching tv, listening to the radio, or reading the newspaper to hear of a way to save energy. Why not? The soaring cost of energy has our attention. With all the media information on how to save energy, how do you decide what to do? Here is a strategy on how to approach saving energy to maximize your savings.

There are many ideas and suggestions to save energy. The website Home Energy Place lists well over 100 ways to save energy in your home. Why are these only suggestions? All of our lives are different and our homes vary widely in construction and age. You must make your own decisions on what to do. Energy saving actions that are best suited to fit your own lifestyle and home. Here is a strategy you can use to help organize a personalized plan to save energy.
First, tackle energy saving actions that cost nothing. Changes in the way you live can save energy with no initial financial cost. Turn off lights when not needed. Turn down thermostat in the winter and turn up in the winter. Close window shades during the day in the summer and at night in the winter. Rinse clothes in cold water. These are just a few ways to save energy without any initial financial cost. The drawback is that you must adjust your lifestyle. Try a few ideas at a time, allow for the change to become habit. If any idea seems to extreme, then try something else. Be aware of how your daily activities affect energy use.
Second, find low cost energy saving actions. These actions will generally quickly return the investment from energy savings. Seal cracks and replace weather stripping around windows and doors. Replace old thermostat with one that has setback features. These are some of the many actions that have small initial costs. Set an amount you are willing to spend for this strategy, for example $100. Do any applicable energy saving action that costs less than $100.

Third, select Energy Star qualified appliances when replacing them. Appliances meeting specific energy use criteria may qualify as Energy Star. Dishwashers, clothes dryers, room air conditioners, refrigerators are a few of the appliances that can be Energy Star qualified. Usually these appliances are more expensive, but the savings in energy will quickly compensate the extra cost. Some appliances may exceed the Energy Star performance criteria or may not be in an Energy Star category. Always compare the energy consumption for all models of the appliance you are planning to purchase.
Last, invest in high cost actions. While high in cost they have the greatest yield in energy savings. Replacing windows, major insulation renovation and replacing heating and cooling system are examples of high cost energy saving actions. Due to the high cost, they take a longer time to recover the cost from energy savings. If you follow this strategy, by the time you invest in the high cost actions, you will already be saving from the lower and no cost actions.
Whether you are on a budget or just want to use your money wisely the above strategy results in the greatest savings with the minimal cost. Any energy savings will eventually payback the initial expense, but when? While savings may not be significant at first, this strategy has immediate payback and savings will grow over time. Make you energy saving plan now.

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