Mason County News
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Family Times
Wednesday, May 27, 2009 • Posted May 27, 2009

Saving Money on Energy

It’s summertime, and that can mean sky high energy bills for us if we’re not careful. Here are some ways to make that energy dollar stretch a little farther!

1. Use a Programmable Thermostat - Cut your energy costs by investing in a programmable thermostat. They allow you to set different temperatures for specific times of the day. For example, you can program your AC to turn down during the day when no one is home, and then put it on again thirty minutes before you return home. Installing a programmable thermostat costs around $100 to $150, but the energy savings can be substantial.

2. Clean Your AC Units - Keep your air-conditioning units clean and in peak performance. Have your AC system checked by a professional regularly. Air conditioning filters should generally be checked every month or so for cleaning or replacement.

3. Seal Leaky Areas - Leaky windows and ducts makes your air conditioner work harder. Properly insulated and sealed ducts save you in energy costs. If you think your duct system is leaky, have it checked out by an HVAC technician.

4. Replace Your Light Bulbs - Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75% less energy than regular, incandescent light bulbs, and they last up to10 times longer, too. You do have to be very careful when disposing of these bulbs- they contain mercury, but it is not harmful unless they get broken. These bulbs come in sizes that fit into any fixture. A 100-watt incandescent bulb can be replaced with an equivalent 23-watt fluorescent, using 2/3 less energy.

5. Plant Trees - Planting trees around your house can help cut your annual heating and cooling cost. Leafy trees, such as maples, shields your home from direct sunlight, keeping it cooler, while allowing sunlight to reach the home during the winter.

6. Use Ceiling Fans - Ceiling fans help even out a room’s temperature. This allows you to turn down the air conditioner while still feeling cool.

7. Unplug Your Appliances - Even when your home electronics are turned off, many continue to use energy. Any appliance with a clock or remote control all use energy when they are not in use.

8. Shop Smart - When shopping for appliances, invest in energy-efficient appliances that help save energy throughout the life of the item. Look for the Energy Star label.

Small steps can equal big savings - and help the environment, too!

Source: The Pennypincher E-Zine

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