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Energy Efficiency for a COLD Winter!

Halloween isn't the only scary thing in Fall. Failing to winterize your home will result in higher energy consumption and pricey utility bills. Here are some home energy efficiency tips for a cold winter.

Home & Energy Usage Tips:

 

  • Check out Energy Star washers which use less water and energy yet get clothes as clean as conventional units, plus dryers with moisture sensors, and high-efficiency refrigerators.
  • Join the Alliance’s "4 for the planet" challenge. Just replace your four most used 100-watt incandescent bulbs with four comparable 23-watt compact fluorescent bulbs to save $82 over three years. If all U.S. households did the same, we’d save as much energy as is consumed by 7 million cars in one year!
  • Plug surprising "leaks" from standby power. Did you know that your idle TV’s, VCR’s, cable boxes, CD players, cassette decks, cordless phones, burglar alarms, and microwaves continue to consume energy when switched off to keep display clocks lit and memory chips and remote controls working? That costs consumers $3 billion annually in energy costs. Energy Star electronic products use less energy in standby mode.
  • Don’t like coming home to a dark house on those short winter days? Instead of leaving lights on, put timers on a few of the lights in your home, or install motion detectors on exterior floodlights to improve your home security. After you get inside, the sensor will "remember" to turn the lights off.
  • Activate "sleep" features on computers and office equipment that power down when the equipment is on but not in use for a while. Turn off equipment during long periods of nonuse to cut costs and improve longevity.
  • Let the sun help heat your home by keeping blinds of sun-exposed windows open in the day time and closed at night.
  • Upgrade Your Oil Heat System -- New oil heat systems are generally more efficient than older units and typically reduce heating oil consumption by 15 to 25 percent. However, in a 23-state field test, the Alliance demonstrated that older oil fired boilers and furnaces can achieve similar savings if they are upgraded with a properly installed frame retention head burner. These burners strictly control the amount of excess air that is used for combustion, resulting in a hotter flame and increased energy savings
  • To avoid $ticker $hock at the pump, select fuel-efficient cars and the most fuel efficient SUVs and urge manufactures to use fuel efficient technologies for SUVs. Consider new hybrid cars. Improve fuel economy of existing or new cars by proper maintenance and adequate tire inflation and driving a little slower.

Fall Checkup

Before autumn ends, inspect your roof for any shortcomings. If there are missing or damaged shingles, immediately call an expert (or your insurance company) about repairs and replacement. Also, make sure the flashings around your chimney are watertight and that the chimney itself is free of cracks. Plus, it's called Fall for a reason, so now is the perfect time to clear the leaves from your gutters; if they aren't clean, the extra weight of the freezing snow can quickly bring them down. Additionally, make sure overhanging limbs are cut back and downspouts are free of debris and pointed away from the house.


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