Published: October 14, 2015

    The Ultimate New Home Owner Energy and Water Conservation Guide

    You’ve just moved into your new home. Everything’s in boxes, and you’re just beginning to unpack. Before you do, however, take some time to evaluate the home’s energy and water usage. Do this now to save an enormous amount of money in the long run.

    Water Heaters and Plumbing

    Water conservation is on many new homeowners’ minds, both for environmental and economic reasons. The plumbing and water heater you inherited with your new home many need some quick fixes to get it running as efficiently as possible.

    Check all faucets, toilets, and under sink pipes for signs of leaks or running water. Not only do leaks add to your water bill, they also increase the possibility of mold growth, which can damage your home and your health. Often the solution is as simple as replacing a faucet washer or replacing old showerheads with new energy efficient models.

    Hopefully you have a relatively new well-insulated water heater. If not, there are a few things you can do to conserve energy. First, lower the heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit — anything higher is wasting power. Few people use water at higher temperatures because water over 120 degrees can seriously scald skin.

    If the water heater needs some extra insulation, a water heater blanket can prevent heat from radiating out into the environment. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placing the blanket, being sure not to cover the heater’s top, bottom, burner compartment, or thermostat. A water heater’s tank needs to be regularly flushed to remove mineral build up and sludge that, left undisturbed, impairs the heater’s ability to function and reduces its life span. However, draining a hot water heater is potentially dangerous, and hiring a plumber costs money. Installing a Water Heater Shield between the tank and its water source prevents harmful minerals from depositing on the heating elements, and the shield’s filter only needs to be replaced every six months.

    Hot water pipes should be wrapped with insulation. Uninsulated pipes cause water temperature to drop up to 4 degrees between the water heater and the faucet, which means you run the tap longer to reach the temperature you desire while the cold water in the pipe filters out.

    You should consider installing a whole house water softener. By removing harmful minerals, a water softener prevents scale build up in dishwashers, clothes washers, and water heaters, extending the appliances’ lifespans. Buying a NaturSoft® water softener alternative with salt free technology is like buying an extended warranty for your water-based appliances while reducing the sink stains and dish-spots associated with hard water.

    Heating and Cooling Issues

    Proper attic insulation plays a large role in regulating your home’s temperature and preventing the loss of warm air when your home’s heating is running. Your attic insulation should be at least 6 inches thick. If it’s less than 6 inches, or if the insulation appears damaged, you should replace it. Many states offer refunds or credits for homeowners looking to reinsulate their homes.

    Next, check for air leaks around windows, doors, and electric outlets. A little caulk and weather-stripping can significantly lower your heating bill. Clean heating vents of dust and obstructions. If air flows freely, your heating system doesn’t have to work as hard (and when you arrange furniture in your new home, make sure nothing interferes with heating vent air flow).

    Check the air filters in your HVAC units. It’s likely they haven’t been changed in a while, which lowers your air quality and makes your system work harder, consuming more power.


    To lower your energy bill, install LED or CFL lights in place of incandescent lightbulbs. They cost more initially, but they consume less power and have longevity, making them well worth the price.

    If you need new appliances, choose the most energy and water efficient replacements. Replacing an old salt-based water softening system with a salt-free system, for instance, has several advantages. Salt-free systems don’t need electricity to operate, do not require regular and costly maintenance from the manufacturer, and save you about 150 gallons of water a day.

    Electronic equipment, such as entertainment consoles, require power even when not in use. Use smart power strips for entertainment and computer stations; the on-off switch connects to one device, controlling whether power runs to all other connected electronics.

    Disclaimer: The information on this website has not been reviewed by the FDA. Products offered for sale herein are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. No medical claims are being made or implied. Contaminants mentioned are not necessarily in your water.