Energy Savings in the Home

September 24, 2012

Shawn, Store Green Team Captain

Recently my family purchased a house.  This was a very exciting and stressful experience for us, as I am sure it is for anyone who has moved or purchased a home.  So far, for the most part, everything has been really great.  Our dogs have a yard to run in, we were able to move with without making any holes in the walls, and we really love our new appliances.

However, with any home, even homes that are brand new, there are things that need fixing.  Our home was built in 1983, so there are a lot of things that need fixing.  After paying more than we expected on our first electricity bill, we decided the first major upgrade would to be add insulation in our attic.  It turns out we only had about an inch of insulation instead of a nice, thick layer.  So we headed out to the nearest home improvement store.  After looking around at our options for insulation, we decided to purchase insulation made from recycled materials.  This was a great option because not only is the insulation more environmentally friendly, it is better for our health too.   We still wore masks and goggles while installing the new insulation, but we did not have to worry about breathing in fiberglass fibers or getting the fibers in our skin.  And, if as if that wasn’t enough, it was less expensive too.

We also decided to invest in ceiling fans for a few of our rooms.  That way we can keep our thermostat turned to a slightly higher temperature during the summer and still be comfortable.  We made sure to purchase fans with the Energy Star Rating so we can save on energy costs that way too.

Several other small improvements have come up as well.  I made sure to replace the light bulbs with CFL light bulbs.  They may cost more upfront but the amount of savings during the life of the bulb is well worth it.  We planted a tree in our backyard for some added shade.  It will be a few years before the tree is large enough to provide shade, but it will provide much needed relief from the sun on that side of the house.  The weather stripping around our front door has been replaced.  This was a quick and inexpensive way of making sure that the cool air being generated by our air conditioner wasn’t just being sucked out of the house.  And of course come this winter, there won’t be a cold breeze blowing through the front door either.

There are times though when a cool breeze is welcome.  Just yesterday I had screens put in all the windows.  Because the weather is starting to turn, we were able to open our windows to let in some natural airflow.  And with that, our air conditioner was turned off completely!

Here at Harmons we try to be the best at getting better.  There are always ways to improve.  So look around your house and see if you can find ways to reduce your energy costs.  Not only is it the right thing to do, it will save you money too.