Here’s a few tips to help you save money, help the environment and yes, help others (by conserving, you are helping keep prices lower for everyone, especially families in need).
1) AIR INFILTRATION: Air leaks are probably the bigest item a home owner should fix to save money. It will also make everyone feel more comfortable inside. Get a flash light and shine it around the edges of doors/windows, during the evening to see if light is coming through. If so you have cracks. Add sticky backed foam weather stripping, or whatever, to stop that air flow. You’ll notice an improvement immediately.
2) AC UNITS: If you have window unit air-conditioners… take them out of the windows during the winter. Seems obvious but I see a lot of people who don’t do this.
3) REFRIGERATORS: Refrigerators typically use more electricity than any other appliance. Keep the door closed. Let very hot items cool down a bit on a cooling rack before putting them into the Frig. Be sure the floor under the refrigerator is clean to allow air flow to the coils on the back.
4) LIGHTING: Use compact fluorescents or the new LCD lighting. The technology has improved dramatically, providing quality light at a fraction of the cost.
5) STORM WINDOWS: Use them if you have them. If not they make a easy to attach plastic that becomes taut when heated.
6) INSULATION: If you can, add insulation to your attic. Up to R-36 depending where you live in the country. They also make a fire-proof blown-in recycled paper insulation good for walls… i know many older buildings have no insulation. Those days are over, all houses need to be insulated.
7) FAMILY: Finally, get the whole family involved. Being effective at being energy efficient can be much more difficult if one parent doesn’t contribute in some way as well. For instance, when one parent leaves all the lights on and then hopes in a car leaving the house empty, but lit up like a christmas tree. Or decides to open a window(s) in the middle of winter. It’s kind of hard to be effective if the other partner isn’t involved. Perhaps, in the same way house cleaning can be a family effort, so to can getting the house weather tight and talking about what else can be done…
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