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Friday, June 20, 2008

Save Money by Improving Your Energy Efficiency

Curbing your energy use is one of the simplest ways to save money. You can easily cut your bills in half by paying attention to effortless actions, such as turning the lights off when you leave a room or turning the heat off when you aren’t home. The extra money you accumulate through lowering your bills can help you to pay off your other expenses, including your debt.

Energy Efficient Bulb

1) Lower Heating Costs:

Clean your heating system regularly. Paying for maintenance of the unit will save you more in the long run. Also, clean (or replace) your filters on a regular basis to cut down on the energy expenditure of the system. Your thermostat can be kept at a lower temperature during the night when you are sleep ing than during the day. This can save you a ton of money on your gas or electric. Just make sure you wear warmer clothes to bed and use heavier blankets. If you are not at home during the daytime or you are going to be gone for a couple of days, then you should put your thermostat on the lowest setting to save energy. Keep your curtains open during the daytime to let more sun and heat into the house. Check to see where your doors and windows may need additional stripping. One way to do this is with a hair dryer. Take the dryer and move it along the edges of the windows and doors as someone on the other side feels for the air leaking through. The area needs to be sealed where the person feels the air.

2) Decrease Cooling Costs:

Use solar reflective films over your windows in to decrease the amount of light and heat that penetrate your house. Whenever you leave the house, make sure to turn off your air conditioning. Keep your vents clear of furniture and other decor, so the air can flow properly.

3) Minimize Lighting Costs:

Always turn off lights when you leave a room and when you leave your house. This action is a #1 energy saver because many people forget to do this. Lower wattage bulbs expend less energy; however, if you use additional light bulbs throughout your house to compensate, stick to a single higher wattage bulb. Three way bulbs can adjust the lighting intensity, saving electricity. Keep light fixtures clean because dirt and dust may reduce the amount of light, prompting you to turn on additional lights.

4) Get the Most from Your Washer and Dryer:

Using a cold rinse cycle will save some energy and cost because the water does not have to be heated. Use the correct amount of detergent because using too much can put strain on the machine. Dry clothes in consecutive loads so the machine retains heat from one load to the next.

5) Lower Water and Gas Bills:

A short shower consumes much less water than a bath. Wrap insulation around your water heater tank to preserve energy.Moderate the temperature of the water. Keep the temperature of your water heater lower.

6) Curtail Electricity Costs:

Keep unused items unplugged. Also, items that do not need to be plugged in all of the time, such as laptops, cell phones, and their chargers, should be kept unplugged. Do not wash dishes in the dishwasher unless there is a full load of dishes. By washing only half-loads you are wasting money and energy. If you absolutely need to wash a single item, wash it by hand.

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