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How can I make my home more energy efficient without it costing me an arm and a leg?

Man Changes Light Bulb-Energy Efficienct Home

In today’s rising energy costs, all homeowners should consider energy efficiency, if not already considering it.  Here are some things you can do to make your home energy efficient without breaking the bank.

Light bulbs- I know you have seen the squiggly fluorescent light bulbs in the home improvement stores, but do you know what they do and how they work.  A standard light bulb uses 60 watts of energy.  A fluorescent light bulb with similar light output uses only 14 watts of energy and lasts twice as long.   The fluorescent bulbs used to be considered a luxury item, but did you know that you can pick them up at your local grocery store.  The best price we have found is at the large box wholesale discount stores like Costco or Sam’s Club.  In addition, the light bulb selection has evolved so that you do not have to use squiggly bulbs.  A note:  We replaced an entire apartment complex with the exterior flood fluorescent light bulbs. The cost of the bulb and installation paid for itself in 4 months.

Electronic HVAC Thermostat- An electronic thermostat has been installed in almost every new home produced in the last two years.  We are seeing electronics thermostats replace the dinosaur slide thermostat because you can program the thermostat to turn on and off throughout the day without being in the home.  Imagine how much your electric bill can be reduced in the hot Las Vegas summer by having your thermostat turn off the air during the hours your house is not occupied during the work or school day.  Imagine coming home from work at 5 pm, and you program your thermostat to cool down the house starting at 4:30 pm, so when you arrive, you walk into the perfect temperature without operating the entire day.  An electric programmable thermostat costs $25-30, can be found at any home improvement store, and is usually installed in less than 30 minutes.  A little note:  Contact your local electric company. They often offer specials to replace your dinosaur thermostat with a programmable thermostat for little or no charge.

Light coming through doors and window sills- How many of us grew up with our parents saying, “Close the door. You’re letting the cool/hot air escape to the outside”  The same principle is confirmed by having gaps at the bottom of your exterior doors and window frames.  Next time it is very warm on a hot Las Vegas day, put your hand next to the gap in the door.  You may find unwelcoming heat through that gap between the door and jamb.  The good news is that the fix is speedy and easy.  Go to a local home improvement store and buy felt (color to be similar to door) with a sticky back.  Cut the felt to size and stick it on the door (do not make it too thick otherwise, the door will not close).   Windows requires a little more labor.  Clean out the old caulking at the window sill and then install a fresh bead of caulking at the sill where the light is coming through.

Good luck making it more efficient.  These projects are usually fun because you can see the difference in your electric bill within 45 days.  Consider working with Las Vegas Remodel and Construction for your next energy-efficient project (Big or Small).  Together we will develop creative ways to give you a more efficient home.  Contact Brett Primack at 702-858-4051 email

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