Did you know U.S. households spend an average of $2,000 annually on their energy bills? While this may (or may not) be surprising to homeowners, it can be managed by creating a home plan and DIY updates. Many residential DIY energy efficiency projects are simple to do, low cost, and translate to savings almost immediately.
An energy audit is a quick way to gauge your energy use. Inspect these common energy-draining areas of your home to see where you can save:
- Bulbs will shine a light on energy savings. Switch out your incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving ENERGY STAR®-certified LED light bulbs. They use up to 75% less energy. If you live the DTE Electric service area, you can take advantage of discounted pricing on LED bulbs.
- Electronics are a source of energy drain. Set up electronics, such as laptop computers and printers, to go into “sleep” mode when not in use. Computer power management (CPM) can help you save up to $50 per computer on your energy bill each year. You can also save money by unplugging appliances and gadgets such as video consoles, coffeemakers, televisions and DVD players that consume a high amount of “phantom power” (power used when an appliance is off but still plugged into an outlet).
- Air leaks isn’t just a winter concern. During the summer months, air leaks allow cooler air to escape your home, bring humid air in and even cause condensation, which can bring about mold. Identifying air leaks is easy — hold an incense stick up near doors, outlets or windows to see if the smoke blows to either side. Weather stripping and caulking can be used to repair any areas with a leak and is a quick, low cost update (perfect for a weekend to-do).
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. According to Energy.gov, homeowners can save up to 10 percent on their utility bills each year by using a programmable thermostat. Ensure the thermostat is set to the recommended 78 degrees in the summer. For optimal savings, increase the temperature a few degrees when you are away from your house or asleep. Ceiling fans are a great low-cost option to pair with your thermostat as you use energy to cool one space vs. a home.
- Use shades to block out the heat. Use window treatments to block out the sun’s heat and help your air conditioning system work less to cool your home.
Tell us, what is your first DIY energy efficient to-do? Learn more and create your plan at dteenergy.com/summer.
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