Three tips could cut up to 85% from your home energy bill

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Energy efficiency often pays itself back and then pays you into the future. Jeff Wilson has hosted nearly 200 episodes of HGTV and DIY shows.

And he knows firsthand, people can reduce their home energy bill by 85 percent.

“It’s called, ‘the Deep Energy Retrofit’ of your home, and I focus on three things, which I’ve done to my own home,” said Jeff Wilson.

The first thing to do is to replace your incandescent ceiling lights that are in cans with LED’s, which have dropped dramatically in price.

“They have great light quality, they are dimmable and will save you between 70 and 90 percent on energy costs, and it’s simple to do,” Wilson said. “The trim just pops out on your ceiling canned lights, you unscrew the bulb, and just screw in the LED adapter, and plug it into the back of the new light housing! And four springs hold it in.”

Wilson is also the author of a new book called The Greened House Effect. Energy saving tips and tricks are in the book.

The next idea is probably one you haven’t heard of. It’s a “shower-drain heat recovery unit,” which essentially looks like a big copper coil with a tube in the middle of it.

It doesn’t reuse the water that’s gone down the drain. Instead, it reuses the heat from that water.

“The used water is piped around a main copper pipe. And the heat that’s in the shower water is transferred to the incoming cold water line. That means you’re going to use less hot water from your hot water tank to take your shower. (About) 40 percent less hot water,” said Wilson.

The $400 device can be installed in new construction, or retrofitted, and pays for itself in about a year or two.

The third and final energy saver is sprayed-on insulation, something that used to be something only the professional did. These days, kits are available to homeowners where they can actually do some small projects themselves and have a highly effective insulation. One of the $200 kits can be used to spray around doors, between top plates in exposed basements or even on the outside of a house, where people have added a new shell to their home, as Wilson did.

“It’s far more effective than other insulation. The stuff comes in two tanks that mix together. It goes on wet, and when it cures, it expands to six times its size, and it’s inert when it’s cured, so it’s safe. When you’re spraying it on, you want to wear protective gear, but once it’s cured, it’s a highly effective insulator and air sealer,” Wilson said.

Wilson has done all three retrofits on his 70-year-old home, and now saves 85 percent on his energy bills. Whether you do one or all three, it’s all detailed in his book.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.