From light bulb legislation to new home technologies, sometimes it's tough to stay on top of home energy efficiency trends. To help you get started, the experts at Lowe's offer their top 5 projects to help you save money and energy heading into cooler months. Consider this guide a cheat sheet to making simple home improvement updates that will help save money and make managing your home a snap.
1. Take control of energy use with Iris:
Put your home's comfort controls and energy usage at your fingertips, all from your smartphone, tablet or computer with Iris, a home management system that lets you wirelessly control and monitor your home from anywhere. Schedule temperature and light settings to stay comfortable when you're home and to save energy when you're away. Install Iris quickly and easily to give you added convenience, lower energy bills and customized control of your home with just the touch of a button.
2. Light up with LED bulbs:
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, 40-watt and 60-watt incandescent bulbs will no longer be manufactured. Switching to LED light bulbs will save you energy and money while providing the added convenience of less maintenance, since they last on average 20 years or more. LEDs also use up to 84 percent less energy than traditional bulbs. In fact, over its lifetime, an LED bulb will cost about $27 to operate, whereas an incandescent one will cost $165. Lowe's carries LED light bulbs for almost all household applications, including hard-to-find specialty bulbs, such as decorative and 3-way bulbs.
3. Update old appliances:
Outdated appliances can be a drain on your home's energy consumption. With the holiday season approaching, avoid the hassle of one breaking while guests are visiting. A new ENERGY STAR® appliance uses up to 66 percent less energy than standard models. In fact, an ENERGY STAR refrigerator uses less energy than a 60-watt light bulb. Lowe's even offers free next-day delivery and haul away of your old appliance to avoid any inconvenience during stressful holiday months. Also, consider updating your water heater to a GE GeoSpring model, which provides the same hot water recovery as a traditional unit but saves $400 a year because of its increased energy efficiency.
4. Weatherproof for winter:
Adding insulation to your attic is one of the best energy-efficiency upgrades a homeowner can make. In fact, insulating your home with weatherization products such as insulation, weather stripping and caulk can save a family up to $200 a year on utility bills, according to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.
5. Add stylish decor, with energy in mind:
More than 30 percent of home heating and energy is lost through windows because they have the lowest insulation barrier in the home. Thermal curtains can help save up to 25 percent on home energy bills. In the winter, keep curtains open when there's direct sunlight available and close them when there's no natural light entering the room. Also, setting the fan to spin clockwise will help circulate air throughout your home more efficiently, cutting down the cost of keeping warm.
For more tips on how to make your home energy efficient, including ways to save money with rebates and utility offers, such as how to save as much as $600 on the GeoSpring hot water heater, visit Lowes.com/Energy.
With fiscal year 2012 sales of $50.5 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 100 company that serves approximately 15 million customers a week at more than 1,825 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada andMexico. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.