Energy-saving tips to reduce home bills


Home Depot Energy Expert Dave Hauer says there are energy-efficiency improvements all of us should consider for the home.

"How often have you been so busy that you've run out of the home with leaving the lights on?" said Hauer. "One way you can drastically reduce your energy uses is installing a motion-sensor light switch. What these do is these capture motion inside of the room, and after a certain amount of time, if no motion is detected it will automatically shut off your lights for you."

Speaking of lighting, it won't be long before you won't be able to use old incandescent bulbs anymore. So there are two options.

"CFLs: compact florescent bulbs," said Hauer. "These are fantastic. They can last up to between five and seven years depending on how often you dim them. We also have our LED. These are terrific. These can last between 25 and 30 years and they use 70 to 80 percent less energy than the regular incandescents."

A dimmer switch is another way to save money on lighting.

"Dimming your lights can save the bulb up to five to 10 years depending on the brand of bulb that you have," said Hauer. "It also reduces your energy use by 20 to 30 percent."

Hauer also suggested a programmable thermostat to avoid using too much energy at peak times.

And with older homes, insulation can make a huge difference.

"Owens Corning has come out with a brand new style of insulation. It's 99.4-percent natural products," said Hauer. "You can handle it, it's not fiberglass-based anymore, so it's extremely eco-efficient and extremely easy to install."

Also popular is something called a radiant barrier.

"What this does is this reflects radiant energy that's either coming in or going out of your home," said Hauer. "So whether it's the heat of the summer or the cool of the winter and you want to keep the heat inside, this is going to reflect up to 96 percent of that energy."

Besides what you save when you use these products, you can also save with incentives from your power company. For example, Southern California Edison and SoCal Gas together will give you up to $4,000 in rebates for energy upgrades.

See energy-saving tips for your home.

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