Boost your energy savings

13 home improvement ideas, from lightbulbs to insulation, to make your house work smarter

Joyanna Laughlin and Elizabeth Jardina


Ready to take it up a notch? Consider these options as well

1. Contact a professional to arrange a detailed energy audit
What it costs: $200-$325 ($0 if your utility company offers one)
Why do it: Pros can spot waste and suggest cost-effective changes

2. Install a whole-house fan to lighten load on air-conditioning systems
What it costs: $180-$230 (not including installation)
Why do it: Fans can reduce cooling costs by up to 5%

3. Add insulation to your attic
What it costs: 50 cents-$1 per sq. ft. (not including installation)
Why do it: Properly insulated homes use 30%-50% less energy

4. Replace your old refrigerator with an Energy Star-rated refrigerator
What it costs: $500-$7,300
Why do it: Today's refrigerators use half the energy of 1992 models

5. Install Energy Star-rated windows
What it costs: $150-$600 per standard window (not including installation)
Why do it: Energy Star windows save up to 15% on heating/cooling costs

6. Put in an Energy Star-rated tankless water heater
What it costs: $700-$1,200 (not including installation)
Why do it: Tankless water heaters can be 8%-34% more efficient

Add it all up: Total $4,600*
*Not including installation 

Above improvements, $300
Home energy audit, $300
Whole-house fan, $200*
Attic insulation, $900*
Refrigerator, $500
10 windows, $1,500*
Water heater, $900*

The benefit

Make these changes and you could save 30% or more - at least $1,000 for a family spending $3,000 annually.

Savings are based on a 40-year-old, 1,800-square-foot, one-story home in Sacramento.


For more information

Arizona Public Service

California Energy Commission

California Energy Commission Consumer Energy Center

Energy Star

Information on Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) and Mercury

National Association of Home Builders

Nevada Power

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Rocky Mountain Power

Sierra Pacific Power

U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Xcel Energy

For products and services

American Filtration


The Home Depot

Home Energy Tune-Up


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