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Tips for Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

I was interviewed on the local news about making my home energy efficient. Because of my line of work, I know a few tricks to keep my electric bill reasonable.

I’ve always been conservative with my utilities because I like having money left at the end of the month for other things. A $500.00 electric bill would really put a strain on my household budget. It could even be devastating depending on my other household expenses.

I don’t know about your power provider, but mine is increasing rates again soon. That’s why I decided to share some useful tips with you. Some of these tips are common sense, and some of these things may not have dawned on you. These tips are included in a flyer that my department distributes at outreach events. People concerned with their power bills love them.

Low Cost to No Cost Energy Tips

1. Seal around doors and windows with weather-strip and caulk.

2. Seal around electric wiring penetrations, plumbing pipes, ducting and light fixtures that go through the ceiling, floor or walls.

3. Keep draperies and shades closed at night to reduce the coolness you may feel from the cold windows and in warm weather to prevent solar heat gain from the window. Open draperies and shades on your south facing windows during the winter days to allow the warmth of the sunlight to enter your home.

4. Replace your furnace filter monthly (or every 90 days if you use a 90 day filter). Also have your furnace serviced before each heating season to ensure it is operating safely and efficiently.

5. Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower in the winter. For every degree lower you may save 3 to 5 percent monthly on your heating bill.

6. Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher in the summer. For every degree higher you may save 3 to 5 percent monthly on your cooling bill.

7. Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans wisely; in just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed or cooled air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done the job.

8. Keep your fireplace damper closed tightly when not in use.

9. Install water saving showerheads and faucet aerators.

10. Wash laundry in cold water whenever possible. This can save between 20 and 40 cents per load. Line dry your laundry to keep from using energy for the dryer and increasing the temperature in the home during the cooling season.

11. Set water temperature on water heater to 120 degrees.

12. Insulate your water heater (Check manufactures specifications) particularly when it is in an unheated area.

13. Repair all holes in ceiling, walls and floor and make them air tight.

14. Turn off the lights in any room you are not using.

15. Install LED or CFL bulbs in place of existing incandescent bulbs.

16. Repair leaky faucets, toilets promptly; a leaky faucet or toilet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time.

17. Vacuum your refrigerator’s condenser coils at least once a year.

18. Keep your refrigerator temperature at 37 to 49 degrees, and freezer at 0 degrees.

19. Turn off television, stereos, and computer when not using them.

20. When you do have to replace an appliance, look for energy efficient appliances with the Energy Star label.

21. Install outlet and switch insulators in all locations possible.

22. Unplug device chargers when not in use.

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