An energy savings checklist you can do at home
A simple checklist to discover where your home is wasting energy and money.
Take the checklist with you as you inspect your house.
Check room-by-roomSee if your light bulbs are energy-efficient LEDs. Don’t forget to check your outdoor lighting, closets, under your range hood, and other less-obvious locations.
Consider smart bulbs to save
Making the switch to ENERGY STAR® smart bulbs in high-use areas like the kitchen can save up to 27% on energy use. Smart bulbs allow you to control usage through your phone, speaker, or other smart device. If you already have LEDs, you can connect your lamps with a smart plug for the same effect.
Look for the ENERGY STAR logo
Are your appliances and home electronics energy efficient? Look for the ENERGY STAR logo, or look appliance model numbers up online if you’re uncertain.
Assess your major appliances
Make a list of your appliances with the ages of each appliance. Any major appliances over 10 years old might need replacing. Prioritize the oldest appliances for replacement. Consider recycling your appliances (rebates available).
Look for places where you can plug electronics and devices into an Advanced Powerstrip (APS). An APS saves electricity when used with home entertainment systems, home offices, and other places where electronics are operated as a group. You can save as much as $100 per year by avoiding standby load for game consoles alone.
Set it and forget it
If you have a programmable thermostat check that it is set properly for your home's needs. Standard programmable thermostats save energy only if they are programmed correctly. If you’re ready to upgrade to a smart thermostat, make sure it is compatible with your heating system.
Replace or clean furnace and AC filters as needed—generally once every month or two, more during periods of high use.
Schedule annual inspectionsAs much a safety concern as an energy issue, heating and cooling equipment should be inspected annually, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Consider replacing old equipmentIf you have an older unit (approx. 15 years), it is likely not efficient. Planning to upgrade before a breakdown will give you more options than emergency replacement.
Check the age and condition of your water heaterWater heating is a home’s second-highest energy cost. If your water heater is more than 10 years old consider replacing it with a new energy efficient, ENERGY STAR certified water heater now, before it fails.
Determine if your air conditioner is the right size
Many people buy air-conditioners thinking it will provide better cooling. However, an oversized air conditioner is less effective and wastes energy too. If you need a new air conditioner, ENERGY STAR Most Efficient air conditioners operate quietly and are up to 35% more efficient than a standard room air conditioner.
Start with the obvious
Find any gap where you can feel a draft or see through to the outside. Spot an air leak by looking for cracks and dirt streaks.
Look for less-obvious problem areas
Gaps are often found along the edge of flooring and at junctures of the walls and ceiling, or anywhere pipes or other hardware enters the wall. Pay attention to the attic and basement, lifting insulation to look under and behind it when needed.
Shut a door or window on a dollar bill
If you can easily pull the dollar bill out, you’ve likely got a window air leak that needs to be addressed. For doors, install weather stripping along the top and sides, and install a door sweep along the bottom. Find projects you can do now to make your home warmer and stop wasting heat.
Inspect basements and attics for proper insulation
Finished basements should have insulation along perimeter walls; unfinished basements should have insulated ceilings and band joists. In finished attic spaces, look for ceiling and perimeter wall insulation. And in unfinished attics, check for floor insulation.
With this checklist, you’ve probably found a few things that can be improved, Efficiency Vermont is here to help with the next steps. We’re ready to discuss what you found and let us help you find resources.