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Home Care Library

Where Your Home Energy Dollar Goes

Ever wondered where your energy dollars go in your home?

This article and video shows you at-a-glance, so that you can focus on the areas that will give you the biggest bang-for-the-buck for reducing your home energy bill.

The pie chart below shows for a typical home where your energy bills are going. The bigger the slice of the pie, the more of your energy budget is being spent for this activity.

As you can see, space heating and air conditioning together account for almost half of the energy that a typical home uses. This is why we are always reminding you to do tasks like changing your air filters, adding or checking weatherstripping, getting your annual furnace and AC tune-ups done, etc. .... as these tasks all help you to reduce your heating and cooling costs, which are the costs that take the biggest bite out of your energy budget.
Next you will notice that a typical home uses 14% of its energy for making hot water. And this is why we remind you of tasks like getting your annual service done on your water heater, backflushing your water heater, consider adding low-flow shower heads, and promptly fixing plumbing leaks (see types, costs, and reviews of Pipe repair kitslow-flow shower heads).

And since it runs 24-7, you can see how your refrigerator adds up to 8% of your household energy bill. This is why we remind you of tasks like vacuuming the dust off your refrigerator coils to keep its efficiency up, and checking the seals around the door for air leaks (helpful accessory: refrigerator coil cleaners).

And remember our reminders about reducing “vampire power” sources that suck electricity when appliances are turned off? This chart shows you the energy consumption of computers and televisions in your home, which are notorious electricity vampires when they are not in use. And as you can see in the note at the bottom, if you have a digital video recorder boxes, then you can add this to your list of energy vampires, and they can be one of the worst of them all (helpful accessory: digital timers; programmable wireless outlet remote controls)..

Next, with lighting being 6% of home energy use, you can see why we encourage you to use more efficient compact fluorescent and LED lights. And at 5% of you energy bill, you can see why we suggest the maintenance tasks that we do for your clothes dryer (helpful accessory: compact fluorescent bulbs; LED light bulbs).

We can go on and on, but you may just want to pause this video and look over this chart to think about what the implications are for your particular home. And then when you get our monthly reminders, hopefully this chart will help motivate you to do the routine maintenance tasks that will help you to lower your energy bills.

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