SmartMoney Monday: Saving energy at home

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In honor of Earth Day on April 22, all of our April Smart Money Monday segments will be about how to be better to mother nature. Today, we're going to learn how to save energy at home. So what are some ways we can save our planet by using less energy and save money at the same time?

The good news is, there are so many easy and efficient ways to reduce your home's energy consumption. One good place to start is with hot water. Heating water is a major contributor to your total energy consumption.  Fortunately, efficient water heaters can be anywhere between 8% and 300% more energy efficient than a conventional storage water heater. Appliances are big energy hogs, using around 13% of your household energy use. So make sure you purchase appliances with an Energy Star label which is a Federal Government guarantee that the appliance will use less energy.

Replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) can help use anywhere from 25-80% less electricity and last three to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.

Insulating your home to keep the cool air out and warm air in can also help you save money. There are all kinds of new green insulation materials you can install. And, when combined with energy efficient windows, newer A/C systems and programmable thermostats, you can really cut down on the amount of energy and money it takes to keep your house comfortable all year long. It's really just a matter of being more aware of how you use energy and how you can conserve it. For example, turn lights off in a room when you're not in it, use smart power strips for your electronics, maybe even hang clothes out to dry once in a while instead running the dryer.

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