Share your Home Energy tips

One of our goals at Mapawatt is to be the online community for home energy conservation, efficiency, and clean energy production.  Part of building that community involves individuals sharing their home energy habits in order to help others, learn from others, and start the discussion on how we all can be doing better when it comes to saving energy in homes.

I'll start, but please share your home energy habits and tips in the comments section!

My biggest energy saving methods  in my home are mainly composed of three strategies:

There are also things I'd like to improve on like:

  • Find CFL replacements for the 40-watt bulbs in our ceiling fan overhead lights
  • Get drapes for our windows to block out the hot/cold and keep the cool/heat in
  • Use programmable timers to cut power to our entertainment system so there is no vampire load

Longer term I'd like to:

So enough about my home.  What about you?  What do you do well to save energy, what areas need improvement, and what are some of your plans for the future?

enjoyed our post? let others know: 


Steve, Great stuff. I definitely want to hear how the GE heat-pump water heater works out. Would you like to guest post an article on this blog about your experiences with your current 'Art-Cool' heat pump?
Chris, that would be excellent. I have an initial review I posted back in Oct, but have been needing to do a more indepth review of the unit, now that winter has set in quite hard in the Northwest and I have more experience with the unit during heavy heating situations.
Hold off on putting solar electric panels up. You will spend less $$ and see a shorter return on investment if you put up solar collectors for your hot water first. Solar water heaters are the "low hanging fruit" of the solar world. One excellent DIY kit is the Butler Sun Solutions system: I put one up in 2006 and it has already paid for itself! Not a project for the faint of heart or inexperienced home builders but totally worth it! :)
How do you like the Butler system. I have a similar situation to yours where I would have to mount the panels on a south facing wall. My roof faces east and west and is covered with solar PV panels. I my area, NJ, solar electric currently has a faster pay back than solar DHW due to rebates and incentives. I also have gas hot water which is fairly inexpensive to run.
Good advice. It's actually kinda tricky to get up on my roof and I'm trying to figure out how I would run the pipe but your absolutely right about the return on investment. I know the install for solar thermal is a tad more complicated than PV though (moving water around as opposed to just electrons), so I'd have to weigh all considerations.
I installed a timer on my electric water heater. Combined with my tiered electricity rates, this saved me about $15 - $20 per month. The heater is on for 2 - 4 hours per day (off peak) depending on the season. I also installed low flow shower heads and faucet aerators. We wash clothes in cold water, too. I intend to buy an efficient dishwasher next year when the rebates kick in. We're washing dishes by hand now, which is a big waste of hot water (at least the way we do it, with the faucet running the whole time). Winter tip: put an electric mattress pad on the bed and turn the house thermostat way down at night.
My Verizon DVR uses 30 watts on standby also. I have it on a timer so it is only on for about 5 hours per day. I use Bye Bye Standby switches for all of my electronics including my router so I have little to no vampire loads.
Home receivers can be an especially bad too. My Onkyo 805 normally draws only a watt or two on standby, but if the HDMI control is enabled, it will jump to *65 watts* on standby. Ouch.


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