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17 ways to save on energy
  • Get a home energy audit every couple of years with your power company to find ways to cut costs.
  • Check with your utility company for rebates whenever you install energy-saving equipment.
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  • Add more energy-efficient insulation to your attic, with the appropriate R-value, or resistance to heat flow, for your climate and the type of heating in your house.
  • Turn down your home thermostat two degrees and save 24 kilowatt hours a month. It might not sound like much, but it adds up.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat, especially if your home is vacant most of the day. Set it to turn on a half hour before anyone arrives home.
  • Adjust your thermostat to a comfortable temperature and wait. Turning your thermostat up or down dramatically wastes energy and increases your heating costs.
  • Lower your hot water thermostat 10 degrees, but no lower than 120 degrees. You'll still get all the hot water you need and save 25 kilowatt hours a month.
  • Fix leaky faucets -- one drip a second is 20 kilowatts a month.
  • Invest in weather-stripping kits if you've got drafty doors.
  • Trade your standard candescent bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs. They are more energy-efficient, last for years instead of months, consume little power and generate little heat.
  • Turn off your computer when not in use, or use the energy-saving "sleep" mode.
  • Seal energy leaks. Caulk over cracks and small holes around windows and exterior walls. Look carefully around plumbing pipes, telephone wires, dryer vents, sink and bathtub drains and under countertops.
  • Participate in your power company's special energy-saving program. Some programs shut down electric appliances for short bursts of time during peak hours. You hardly notice the difference -- except in your bill.
  • Buy major appliances that sport the "Energy Star" sticker. That shows the appliance meets or exceeds standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Consider a front-loading washing machine. They use 50 percent less energy and one-third less water. Plus, they remove far more water in the rinse cycle, and that translates into big savings in dryer time.
  • When building a home or replacing a roof, select a roof based more on energy efficiency than on how it looks. Light-colored roofs, such as white, galvanized metal or cement tile, do the best job of reflecting the sun, and cool quickly at night.
  • Landscaping with the right mix of trees and shrubs can lower your energy bills by blocking winter winds or the summer sun.

  • Create a news alert for "energy efficient" 
    -- Updated: Aug. 1, 2006
     
     
     
     
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