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Ten little tricks to save a lot of money at home

Ten little tricks to save a lot of money at home

Don't let energy efficiency improvements - in windows or large appliances - make you forget the little tricks that can save you hundreds of Euros on your bills.

Advertising - Continue reading below 1 Consult the experts

The houses, like their occupants, are uniquely peculiar. For a few hundred €, you can hire a professional energy auditor to determine small leaks and defects using high tech equipment. Many suppliers offer free inspections.

Scott Fischer, founder of a home energy consultancy in New Jersey and author of 101 ways to improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home, He says these free home visits are worth it. "Getting a professional opinion, even if they aren't making a complete diagnosis, is like going to a doctor's office," he says. "They add value to the conversation."

2 Insulate hot water pipes

Cut your bills from two fronts by insulating the pipes near your water heater, says Foss. Not only will it reduce heating costs, you can curb consumption by delivering hot water to your home faster.

Foss advises to buy high quality insulation. "The energy takes the path of least resistance, and if you have 95% of the insulated pipes you will spend more for the 5% that is not," he explains.

3 Let the dishwasher wash

A modern dishwasher surpasses hand washing, says Kristi Mailoux, vice president of the AM Conservation Group, manufacturer of energy-efficient products. A 2004 study from the Bonn University in Germany found that a dishwasher uses half of the energy, one sixth of the water and less soap than a human being when washing, considering that the appliances have become even more efficient, You are not doing the Earth any favor.

4 Use a thermostatic shut-off valve.

The name is luxury, the ingenious idea. Let's say you're brushing your teeth while waiting for the hot shower. In doing so, you don't realize that you are spending 30% of the total shower water and 41% of your energy is hot water - all estimated by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Since water heaters are the second biggest burden on our (after heating / air conditioning), that is liquid gold that is lost. An ingenious Evolve Technology accessory called ShowerStart TSV detects when the water temperature reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit and reduces the flow to a drip.

5 Do a pressure test yourself

Start with this trick recommended by the Department of Energy: Keep the windows of your house closed on a cold and windy day. Turn off all combustion appliances such as gas ovens and water heaters, and turn on all air extractors such as those in your bathroom and kitchen and even your dryer. Slowly drag an incense stick (or a wet hand) around the door and window frames, chimney shots, sockets and escape points. Don't forget to check the plumbing and electrical penetrations in the attic - these are often the biggest culprits in hot air suction outside a house, says Fischer. Wherever smoke drifts (or your hand feels cold), you have a leak.

6 Accounts with the latest generation strips

Speaking of automation, who doesn't love waking up with the smell of fresh coffee? But the coffee maker - like computers, chargers and many other electronic devices - spends even while idle. So-called "vampire" charges save an average of $ 165 per year in the US home, according to the National Resources Defense Council. Put a smart surge protector, which closes the power output to the devices in standby mode. Belkin offers several options, says Fischer, including power strips that are activated once the device is turned on (ideal for a TV) and power strips with timer (for that coffee).

7 Use smart sprinklers

Have you ever seen the neighbor's sprinkler jump after raining? Don't be that neighbor. There is a wide variety of rain sensors that are available to integrate them into your irrigation system. Recently, a handful of "smart" sprinklers arrived on the market, offering elegant controls that interact with real-time weather data and allows you to control it using your smartphone or tablet One of the lowest priced options, Blossom ($ 129), states that you can enjoy a water bill reduction of up to 30%.

8 Choose LED bulbs

If there is someone who still uses incandescent light bulbs it is old school and is very late. There are two main energy efficient alternatives: compact fluorescent spiral lights (CFL) and slightly more expensive LEDs. According to Foss, LED bulbs not only have a longer life expectancy (up to 25 times more than incandescent, while compact fluorescent lamps last about ten times longer), but emit a more pleasant light and come with dimmable options. (Never overlook the energy savings of ambient lighting.) Anything with an Energy Star seal, he says, tends to be not only high-performance but also of better quality.

9 Use a programmable thermostat

The rule is simple: The less your heating or AC system runs, the more you will save. Ignore the myth that says maintaining a constant temperature in winter and summer is the best, says Foss. A basic programmable thermostat costs less than € 40 and allows you to set the temperature to your liking. Although "smart" thermostats, such as the Nest Learning thermostat, cost four times more, they offer benefits such as automatic adjustment to your habits, sensors that determine when no one is home and Wi-Fi. However, the savings of these high-end devices have not been proven, Foss notes. (Nest customers, in fact, filed a lawsuit for false advertising.) "For me, the advantage is that you can control the thermostat when you're out of the house," he says.

10 Don't forget the old resources Getty Images

The fans do not cool the space, but they cool the person and require less energy than an air conditioner, says Mailloux. Of course, you must increase the thermostat to realize the savings. The DOE also estimates that a white curtain can reduce heat gain in summer by an amazing 33%. In winter, most conventional curtains reduce heat loss by up to 10%.