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Make Your House More Energy Efficient

Now that the cold months are nearly upon many of us we wanted to share some ideas about how to make your house more energy efficient. As much as 60% of your energy bill can go to heating your house. Here are some tips to cut down on the amount of energy you are losing.

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Simple Ways to Save on Your Heating Expenses

  • Set your thermostat on the lowest comfortable setting and leave it alone. You will adjust to lower temperatures and possibly sleep better as well. 68 degrees is a comfortible temperature.

  • Insulate and weatherize your home properly. This is not an easy task if you have an old house, but some little things you can do relatively cheaply are: Put plastic on your windows. Use form weather striping around your doors. Close off rooms that you are not using. Shut vents to rooms that you don't use.

  • Close drapes or curtains at night and on cloudy days.

  • When the sun is shining, open drapes to take advantage of the natural warmth.

  • Keep windows on the south side of your house clean to maximize solar gain.

  • Keep windows near the thermostat closed, or the furnace may think it is colder than it actually is.

  • Keep doors and windows closed. This may sound obvious, but many children tend to leave the door open when they go outside to get firewood.

  • Keep your filters clean and check them monthly in your furnace.

  • Contact your local energy department to see if they offer a free audit.

  • Caulk and weather strip around doors and windows.

  • Close your chimney damper when the fireplace is not being used.

Tip: Looking for drafts? Hold a piece of tissue up around doors and windows. When the tissue flutters, you have a draft that is affecting your heating bill.

Here some other things you can do that require a little more money, time and effort.

  • Check your attic to see how much insulation you have. R-30 or R-40 insulation is recommended.

  • Install better windows and doors if you don't have storm windows.

  • Install an automatic thermostats that adjust the heat to your schedule.

  • Plant hedges or install fences to serve as wind breaks. Cold wind usually comes from the northeast.

  • Install foam gaskets and plastic plugs in all electrical outlets and switches on outside walls.

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December 12, 20000 found this helpful

- Hang Dry For Savings -

I find that washing clothes in cold water gets the colored clothes perfectly clean, letting sweaters, blouses, etc. fluff in the dryer, then hanging them on hangers to finish drying saves me at least 20 dollars a month off my electric bill.

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December 12, 20000 found this helpful

- Free Evaluation -

Many natural gas companies will provide a no-charge evaluation of your home's heating efficiency. They use a high-power fan to test for drafts, by putting the fan in a main doorway, closing all other entrances.

If you heat with natural gas, it's worth calling your provider to see whether this service is available.

Kate, NC

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January 2, 20010 found this helpful

Set the thermostat back at night while you are sleeping. I've gotten used to 55 degrees. If you live in an extremely cold climate you may want to insulate your water pipes.

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March 26, 20060 found this helpful

You know, regarding setting back thermostats.....I actually turn mine up at bedtime and then turn it down during the day. When we sleep, it is only for 7-8 hours, it is colder at night, and my sons are notorious for kicking blankets off and waking up because they are cold. During the day, we do not turn on lights, the house is set at 65 (and the heat never kicks on). We open all the shades and let the sun light and heat the house. If we get cold, we put on socks and a sweater (usually just me!) I figure it this way, if you are gone during the day (and it is warmer) why heat an EMPTY house?

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March 28, 20060 found this helpful

WE HAVE SWITCHED TO USING FLOURESCENT BULBS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE THEY ARE MUCH CHEAPER TO USE

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June 9, 20060 found this helpful

I bought the round circular bulbs to screw into my lamps about 8 years ago, I think the initial outlay was maybe 6 apiece then. I have never replaced them and they get used a LOT!! I have also had two major moves to other states...can't believe they have lasted so long!! It was a great investment and worth every penny.

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May 11, 20080 found this helpful

L E D Lightbulbs work great.They are even cheaper than fluorescent but cost more initialy. My whole house is filled with them. Be prepared to pay a lot at first then reap the rewards.

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Making Your House More Energy Efficient
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