The One About Thursday Thirteens- 8th Edition

Thursday, December 6, 2007

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. 
~Native American Proverb

It’s time for the Thursday Thirteen again. If you have a Thursday Thirteen of your own, leave your website in the comments section and I’ll visit it 🙂


Thirteen Ways to Save Money on Energy Bills This Winter

  1. Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights use about a quarter of the electricity of normal incandescent bulbs. They also need replaced much less often. The added bonus is that CF bulbs put out less heat, so they also reduce your AC load in the summer.
  2. Weather strip your doors and windows. Just think, a 1/4 inch gap along the bottom of a 3 foot wide door is 9 square inches of open space. If you had a 3 inch x 3 inch hole in one of your exterior walls you’d fix it, wouldn’t you?
  3. Harness the sun. Open south-facing window shades and drapes during the day and close themmoney-stack.jpg at night.
  4. Get a programmable thermostat. You can dial back your heating/cooling while you’re at work, but have it back at a comfortable level when you arrive home at the end of the day. By having much finer control over where the heating is set, and always ‘remembering’ to turn down the heat at night, the average family will save $150 a year, according to the EPA.
  5. Seal Those Drafts.  Stop letting heated air seep out of your dwelling by finding and plugging up leaks with caulking or weather-stripping. Try the incense test: carefully hold a lit stick up to joints. Where smoke wavers, you have a leak. Place a rolled bath towel or custom-made ‘draft snake’ across the bottom of leaky doors and windows. Simply reducing drafts can cut heating energy use 5 to 30%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy
  6. Turn Down the Thermostat. For every degree you lower the dial, you’ll save between 1 and 3% of your heating bill, reports the Department of Energy.  What to do instead? Put on a sweater! A light long-sleeved sweater is generally worth about 2 degrees in added warmth, while a heavy sweater adds about 4 degrees.
  7. Keep Those Vents Clean and Unobstructed.  Close vents in rooms you hardly use (of course, you may have to consider making sure pipes won’t freeze, if there are any in that room). Make sure your vents are clean and unobstructed. If they are grimy, vacuum up the dust. Never allow furniture or rugs to block your vents.
  8. Seal off fireplaces. Never use a fireplace as a heat source for your home.  You actually lose more cold air coming in from the chimney than is replaced by the fire.
  9.  Lower water heater to 120-125 degrees. Many water heaters are automatically set at 140 degrees. Lowering the temperature on your water heater to between 120 and 125 degrees will reduce the amount of fuel needed to heat the water.
  10.  Speaking of your water heater, add an insulation blanket to water heater. Wrapping the water heater with an insulation blanket can save heating money by slowing the drop in temperature from the hot water tank as it sits unused.
  11.  Add insulation to attic. When adding insulation, start at the top and work down only after eliminating air infiltration.  For example, in Michigan, it is recommended to have at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic.  I only have six, so I’ll be getting more soon!
  12.  Make your ceiling fan do the work. Most fans have a switch that lets you reverse the motor. The resulting updraft forces warm air near the ceiling down to where it can make you and your family feel more comfortable.
  13.  Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances and windows.  When replacing your appliances or windows, make sure you buy ones that have the blue Energy Star logo on them.  This could save you hundreds of dollars a year on electricity, especially on air conditioners and furnaces.


  1. These are great ideas! We’ve done almost all of them (but we DO have a fireplace we use 🙂

  2. A very practical 13 – I defintely will need those bulbs for summer – hubby keeps the AC going 24/7.
    Happy Thursday.

  3. Thanks for visiting my TT.

    You had a lot of useful tips. Thank you for sharing them.

  4. i keep the heat turnded down and use a heated blanket at night to cut costs. it’s working so far!

  5. Excellent reminders for everyone…we need to save all the money we can so we can buy the house we now rent.
    Great TT,

  6. Great ideas!

  7. Yes, definitely some great ideas there! May your electrickery bill reduce. 🙂

    I have three TTs this week:

    I have three TTs this week:

    13 emotions we could do without

    13 things about Lodi, California

    13 sayings from the biker community

    Happy TT!

  8. Great list!

    I heard in the news last week that Google is investing many millions in new power sources.

  9. We harness the sun – we’ve got solar hot water. It often needs an electric boost in the winter, but we use the solar as much as we can, and all the time in the summer.

    Great list.

  10. This one was useful AND important.

    Happy TT-13!



  11. oh the insulation is in the attic! DH just hasn’t installed it. I think it’s been up there for 2-3 years now. Arg!

    Great list.

  12. Those are all excellent ideas. I have replaced almost all our bulbs with fluorescents. I don’t know hwy it isn’t made mandatory for all new buildings to have solar panels on the roof. It would make an enormous difference.

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