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10 Easy ways to improve your home's energy efficiency

Ashley Phipps is an Interior Designer, NCIDQ #25242, living in the Indianapolis area. She is also the author, designer and creator of the blog Simply Designing. You can follow Ashley at her blog, and on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pin...

10 simple ideas to cut your energy bill

With energy costs on the rise, here are 10 ways to simply improve your home's energy efficiency.
1

Programmable
thermostat

Programmable thermostat

Purchase a programmable thermostat (Walmart, $150) and set your temperature to go up while you are away or asleep during the summer and down while you are away or asleep during the winter. By simply setting your thermostat down (or up) you can save hundreds of dollars a year.

2

Weather stripping and caulking

Weatherstripping and caulking

Ensuring that your windows are properly caulked and your doors have good weather stripping (The Home Depot, $7) can help keep cold drafts and warm air from seeping into your home. And thankfully, this is a quick, inexpensive DIY you could complete in less than a weekend!

3

Unplug appliances

Stand mixer

When you are not using appliances, especially in the kitchen, unplug them. If you only use your stand mixer (Bed Bath and Beyond, $450) once a week, for example, there is no reason for it to be drawing energy 24/7, so get in the habit of unplugging appliances when you are done.

4

Windows

windows

If you have the money, replace your windows with energy efficient windows. But if you don't, consider adding a storm window (Lowe's, $109) to your existing windows as an added layer of protection from winds and drafts.

5

Switch out your light bulbs

Light bulbs

Change your incandescent light bulbs out for CFL's (compact fluorescent lamps). CFL's (The Home Depot, $7) are better than they used to be. Plus, the bulbs will last for years.

6

Insulation

insulation

Especially if you have an older home, spending a little money and time to add extra insulation (Ace Hardware, $41) in your attic space can end up saving you money in the long run.

7

Energy Star appliances

LG refrigerator

Upgrading your appliances to Energy Star appliances, like this LG refrigerator (Sears, $3,200), can save a bundle on energy every year. Also consider replacing other appliances like your stove, dishwasher, water heater, A/C unit, heater and even washer and dryer with Energy Star appliances. Not only will you save on energy, but many states offer rebates on new Energy Star appliances to help defray your initial cost.

8

Lower the thermostat

water heater

Lower not only your home thermostat, but also your water heater thermostat (Lowe's, $285). A water heater set higher than 120 degrees wastes a lot of energy and also creates a burn hazard for children. So even though it might take a few extra minutes to get your kitchen faucet water really hot, it will be worth the savings to lower your thermostat.

9

Remember what your mother told you

Shower timer

Turn off lights when you leave the room, shut the door behind you and don't take long showers. And getting a shower timer can help everyone in the family accomplish this goal (Conservation Mart, $21). It might not seem like a lot, but small and simple changes can make a difference in the long run and bring your total energy costs down.

10

New water-efficient washing machine

Washing machine

Consider buying a front-loading, energy-efficient washing machine (Best Buy, $800). Front-loading machines use substantially less water and energy than top-loading machines. Plus they tend to be more effective at removing water from clothes which will, in turn, shorten your dry cycle.

More house fun

Learn how LG appliances can help make your house a home by visiting Life's Good House.

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