WHAT YOU COULD SAVE ON HOME ENERGY COSTS
Have you checked your home's performance lately?
Have you checked your home's performance lately? If you live in an older home or a builder-grade model, chances are your appliances and heating and cooling devices are costing you more money.
In this slide show, we review six energy-efficient upgrades and the potential savings from each.
See which $19 improvement can knock off up to 30 percent from your heating and cooling bill.
The slide show begins with the navigation to the right.
Extra Cost: $19
Annual Savings: $185
Payback Period: 2 months
This temperature-sensitive timing device modifies your home's temperature throughout the day. It can be set to heat or cool less often when the house is empty. According to Energy Star, homeowners can reduce annual heating and cooling costs by 20 to 30 percent.
All estimates are for a 2,500-square-foot home built in the 1990s. Annual savings reflect national average fuel costs. Actual savings will vary by region. Source: www.energystar.gov
Energy Star Central Air Conditioner
Extra Cost: $104
Annual Savings: $398
Payback Period: 4 months
Cooling and heating a home makes up about half of a home's energy cost. After installing a programmable thermostat, homeowners should consider upgrading an older central cooling unit. Energy Star models are 14 percent more efficient than standard ones.
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Extra Cost: $60
Annual Savings: $166
Payback Period: 5 months
If everyone in the country made one small change -- to replace standard lighting with energy-efficient alternatives -- we'd shave $8 billion from the nation's electric bill, according to Energy Star statistics.
Energy Star Oil or Gas Furnace
Extra Cost: $320
Annual Savings: $370
Payback Period: 11 months
Higher efficiency home furnace units not only reduce energy usage, but pollution as well. Energy Star qualified models are up to 15% more efficient than standard ones.
Energy Star Refrigerator
Extra Cost: $30
Annual Savings: $9
Payback Period: 3.3 years
An Energy Star-certified fridge uses half the electricity, for the same cooling job as a model from the early '90s, and it's 20 percent more efficient than a standard fridge bought new.
Energy Star Clothes Washer
Extra Cost: $200
Annual Savings: $46
Payback Period: 4.4 years
Washers tweaked for energy efficiency also benefit the planet in another way: these machines reduce water usage. New technologies let you set small loads, wash for shorter periods and use less chemical detergent.