Easy ways to make an older home more energy efficient Easy ways to make an older home more energy efficient

Easy ways to make an older home more energy efficient

9 low-cost tips for homeowners to save energy


An older home may be drafty and lack proper insulation, but you can make it more energy efficient and save money. It can be difficult to make big investments in energy-efficient upgrades, especially after buying a house, but these simple, budget-friendly projects are a good place to start.

Seal air leaks with caulk and weatherstripping


Caulking and weatherstripping doors and windows are effective air-sealing techniques to cut heating and cooling costs by up to 20%. If you haven’t had an energy audit, take a walk through your home and look for cracks or gaps, however small. Use your hands to feel for incoming air. Learn more about how to air seal your home.

Schedule a free energy audit


Consider scheduling a free in-house energy assessment (valued at $180) through Duke Energy’s Home Energy House Call program. For customers in the Carolinas, Indiana and Kentucky who have owned their home for more than four months, this review is designed to help you learn how your home uses energy and how you can save on your monthly bills. For Duke Energy Florida customers, the program is called Home Energy Check. Learn more and check your eligibility here.

Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances and lighting


Consider upgrading appliances to ENERGY STAR models. One of the simplest upgrades is to install LED lightbulbs on your fixtures and lamps. They use 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs while lasting up to 25 times longer.

Keep air vents and radiators clear


Putting furniture or rugs in front or over air vents blocks airflow and forces your HVAC system to work harder to cool or heat your home, driving up your energy bill. Make sure vents are clear to help keep your heating and cooling system running efficiently.

Plant trees near your home


Planting trees in the right places can help to reduce your energy bill by providing shade in the summer and helping keep your house warmer in the winter. Learn more about what to consider when planting a tree.

Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls


Cooled or heated air that escapes means your home’s system has to work harder. Installing seals behind electric switches and outlets is an easy and affordable way to help keep heated or cooled air inside your home. Learn how you can do this as an easy DIY project.

Install smart thermostats


Control the temperature settings in your home with a programmable or smart thermostat. You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by turning your thermostat down for eight hours a day in the fall and winter; turn it up in the spring and summer.

Seal the attic and add insulation


Older homes, especially those built before 1980, may not have sufficient insulation. Adding more insulation and sealing any leaks can help maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.

Save on water costs


Replace shower heads and faucets with low-flow models to conserve water and put less demand on your water heater, saving you money. Learn how.


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