Go Green, Save Green: An Energy-Saving Guide
Go Green, Save Green: An Energy-Saving Guide

Go Green, Save Green: An Energy-Saving Guide

Try these 7 clever tips to make your home super energy efficient.

Too hot? Too cold? Bills too high? Try these practical and not-so-common energy saving tips and tricks that conserve heat at home in the winter, and help keep your place cool in summer.

Harness the power of the sun

Use strategically placed mirrors and open shades to maximize natural light during the day. The beautiful effect naturally brightens your home and minimizes the need to turn on lights and use electricity. The reflected light also functions as a DIY solar heater! Of course, you’ll want to clean your windows (try Windex® Original Glass Cleaner) to allow every ray of sunlight into your house.

Go Green, Save Green: An Energy-Saving Guide – Mirrors

Diminish the draft

By upcycling an old pair of tights, fabric scraps, or even an old pant leg, and filling it with rice or sand, you can easily sew up your own dense (and decorative) draft stopper. Make one for each exterior door in your home, and consider using them year-round so you can keep your air conditioned air indoors, too! These DIY draft stoppers make pretty nice gifts, too.

Go Green, Save Green: An Energy-Saving Guide – Draft Stopper

Find the flaws

10-25% of a home's heat is lost through its windows, which means higher heating and AC bills. You’ll want to identify every pesky draft in your house before you caulk: One way is to hold smoldering incense near areas of concern and watch how the smoke moves. You can use a small flashlight, or a black piece of paper, to make the smoke easier to see. Another option is to tape a one-inch-wide strip of thin plastic wrap (such as Saran™ Premium Wrap) to a pencil and hold it in front of suspected air leaks.

Fix the flaws

If you do it right, new caulk can last for 20 years or more. First, remove the old stuff with a putty knife. For more stubborn caulk, use a utility knife to cut first, then peel it away. For best results, remove every last bit of the old stuff. Now, cut the nozzle on your caulking tube. Be sure to make it slightly wider than the gap that you’re filling. Now, start at the top and work your way down, using consistent pressure on the trigger to make a uniform bead. Smooth the caulk using your finger, then clean off the excess with a damp rag. Done!

Go Green, Save Green: An Energy-Saving Guide – Caulking

Reverse the spin

In warmer months, ceiling fans turn counterclockwise and circulate cool air, reducing your air conditioning bills. In colder weather, however, you'll want to flip the switch so fans spin clockwise. This way they push warm air down from the ceiling, where it naturally rises. This small change can mean big savings. While you’re on the ladder, it’s also a great time to clean your fan blades. Pro tip: If you use an old pillowcase to wipe each blade, the grime and dust stays contained.

Go Green, Save Green: An Energy-Saving Guide – Ceiling Fan

Draw the drapes

When it’s cold out, close your window coverings in the evening to help block out the cold and keep in the heat. Also, on super hot and bright days, your curtains help keep the cold air from your AC in. Simply draw the blinds, shades or drapes during the hottest times of day to protect your home from the heat—and your upholstered furniture from fading.

Do the damper doublecheck

Double check your fireplace to make sure your damper is fully shut. With an open or improperly closed damper, heat or cool air escapes up the chimney and raises your heating and cooling costs. Don't forget to open your damper again before you light a fire!