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Supplement to “Energy Efficient Homes”

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy offers many energy-saving strategies on its Web site, The Energy Star Web site,, and Touchstone Energy Home Web site,, also offer energy-saving tips as well as energy-use calculators that allow you to compare your home’s energy use with other similar homes across the country.

Here are just a few of the many, easy ways to reduce energy consumption around your home:

  • Unplug so-called “energy vampires” like cell phone chargers, which draw energy even when not plugged up to the phone.
  • Plug TVs, DVD players, and other electronics, which can use energy even when they are turned off, into power strips and manually turn the strips off when not in use.
  • Weatherstrip to seal any visible cracks around doors and windows.
  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Air-dry dishes instead of using the dishwasher’s dry cycle.
  • Turn off computers and monitors when not in use.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Take short showers instead of baths.
  • Reconsider moving that old refrigerator into the garage or basement for secondary storage, as many older models are much less efficient and are energy hogs.
  • Replacing the water heater with a more efficient model could offer some great savings, as it is the second-largest energy consumer in the home after space conditioning, using more than 15% of the average home’s total energy use.

Source: DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,, and

To read the Kentucky Living May 2008 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to Building Energy Efficient Homes.

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