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Five Ways To Get A More Energy Efficient Home

With rising fuel costs and a slow-recovering recession, there’s never been a better time to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Smart choices today will bring an abundance of savings tomorrow. Retrofitting your estate to become a more energy efficient home is the sort of renovation that can make you really proud. Here are some ways to get started reducing your dependency on the grid and lowering your energy consumption…

  • Get a home energy audit.

Did you know that roughly 40% of the energy your home consumes is just wasted? It seeps out improperly sealed windows and out through poor insulation. It leaks out ducts. It is gobbled up by dated appliances. If you want a more energy efficient home, your first step should be to call a professional who can identify places where you’re losing money needlessly.

  • Be cognizant of your lights.

Indoor lighting uses a considerable amount of energy, which explains why many utility bills skyrocket so high in the winter (when there are less day time hours and more time spent indoors). Be sure you turn off lights in rooms you’re not in. Install motion sensors outside. Change your bulbs over to compact florescent lights or light emitting diodes, which use 6 times less energy.

  • Buy a few power strips.

It’s believed that as much as 10 percent of our home energy use comes from devices that are plugged in and sitting idly. Your TV, DVD player, computers and cell phone chargers should be plugged into a power strip and turned off when not in use.

  • Upgrade old appliances.

Save money on your monthly energy bills by purchasing a dishwasher, stove, washer, dryer, oven or microwave that has the Energy Star seal affixed. If you’re not in the market for a new appliance just yet, you can at least make your existing refrigerator more energy efficient by vacuuming the condenser coils twice a year. Leaving a few inches of space between the fridge and the walls prevents your unit from overheating. Set your thermostat to 38 degrees.

  • Use a programmable thermostat.

Setting the thermostat to automatically change based on your schedule can save a lot of money. Turn the heat or air conditioning down when you’re asleep or at work.

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