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Increasing Energy Efficiency

energy efficiency

With the weather about to turn cooler (really, someday soon, for sure!), many people are looking forward to lower electric bills. Heating and air conditioning account for over half of a home’s energy expense, so the chance to turn these systems off for even a few days and open the windows is a welcome opportunity. Did you know that adjusting your thermostat by just one degree can save up to seven percent off your annual electric bill? Here are some other ways to save money on energy expenses:

• Use ceiling fans. Using ceiling or free-standing fans can greatly improve the comfort level of a room without having to move the thermostat setting. They will also help circulate the air when the heat is turned on to avoid having a room feel stuffy.

• Change air filters. The filters on your HVAC unit should be changed out every six months or so. Debris and dust can build up, blocking air flow and making your unit work harder than it should. A good reminder is to change them when you swap out the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

• Replace light bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs. These light bulbs are a bit more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but over their lifetime they will save you money. They last up to ten times longer and use about one third the amount of energy as traditional light bulbs. Since lighting can make up 25% of your electric costs, this is a simple option to save.

• Run full laundry and dishwasher loads. Wait until you have a full load to run these machines to maximize water and electricity efficiency. When you need new ones, be sure to buy Energy Star appliances to save even more.

• Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees F. Homeowners spend between $400 to $600 per year on water heating, according to Energy Star. By setting the temperature to 120 degrees, you’ll still have hot enough water for your shower but won’t risk scalding yourself or your children. And, you’ll save money on energy by not over heating the water you use.

Try out these tips to save money and make your home a little more “green” in the process.