How-To: How to ‘Greenerize’ your home: Easy and inexpensive ways to save energy

By Western North Carolina Green Building Council

Service your heating/cooling system: Like a tune-up for your car, this should be done annually. Clean the unit and replace the filters to ensure that the equipment is running at its most efficient. Do it yourself or hire a service technician.

Install a programmable thermostat: Automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings when you’re away or sleeping! A programmable thermostat with four temperature settings can save up to $150 a year in energy costs.

Add weather stripping around doors/windows: Use of door thresholds, weather-stripping and window caulk could save up to 20 percent — with an investment of as little as $25.

Seal leaky ductwork: Over 20 percent of the average heating and cooling bills go to duct leakage. Seal your ducts with mastic and you can substantially decrease the amount of conditioned air being wasted with a cost as little as $10 and 2-3 hours of time.

Switch light bulbs to CFL’s or LED’s: If everyone in NC replaced one light bulb with a compact fluorescent light (CFL) it would save 1.5 Million kWh’s each day.

Buy appliances and electronics with the energy star label: E-Star refrigerators use 15 percent less energy, dishwashers 25 percent less and washers up to 50 percent less.

Change faucets and shower heads to low-flow: A 10-minute shower can use less water than a full bath. With a new 2.5 gal-per-minute (low-flow) shower head, a ten-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water and will save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity.

Wash laundry with cold water: Switching to cold water can save the average household up to $400 annually. Washing full loads can save you more than 3,400 gallons of water each year.

For more information from WNC Green Building Council visit or call 254-1995.


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