RIS Media reports…
“The Department of Energy says home heating costs will average $986 this winter,” notes Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “So cutting that cost by 5, 10 or even 20 percent with energy efficiency really pays off.” She adds, “Simple car maintenance and smarter driving habits can reduce the number of costly trips to the gas pump, too.”
They offer some great tips for keeping your energy conservation high and your heating bills low:
- Conduct a do-it-yourself home energy audit to pinpoint where your home is wasting energy and money and identify improvements to increase energy efficiency and comfort.
- Plug up leaks to the outside.
- Properly maintain your HVAC system.
- Keep furnace filters clean.
- Set it and forget it. A programmable thermostat “remembers for you” to lower the heat.
- If your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with an Energy Star qualified unit, whose energy efficiency exceeds that of a conventional one by 15%.
- Sealing ducts increases their efficiency and is cost-effective—often lowering home energy bills by enough to cover the cost.
- Opening curtains, blinds and other window treatments on west- and south-facing windows allows sunlight to naturally heat your home during the day.
- Energy Star-labeled windows can cut heating costs by as much as 25% compared with older, inefficient windows (such as those with single panes) and by 7-15% compared with new, conventional (not energy-efficient) double-paned windows.
- Get a jump-start on the January 2012 phase-in of energy-efficient lighting products in the U.S. market by starting now to swap out inefficient incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
- Heating hot water is the third largest energy expense in a home, accounting for about 12% of home energy use.
- Is it time to replace your old refrigerator with an energy-efficient model? Find out at http://livingefficiently.org/product/refrigerators-time-upgrade.
- Also look for the Energy Star label on more than 55 additional types of products for the home to save up to 30% on related electricity bills. Find product details at http://www.energystar.gov/.
Submitted by Buyer’s Agent Mary Rugani.