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The Simple Things

 The Simple Things

It’s so easy, a baby can do it. Well…your baby might not be able to add weather stripping to your leaky window, but simple, everyday habits are easy to pick up. Curbing your energy use doesn’t have to mean expensive investments in your home. Many things you can do are actually free!

Here are a few good habits for you and your family around the house:

1. Adjust your thermostat. Each degree that you lower your thermostat in the winter, or raise in the summer can reduce your heating and cooling costs. Don’t forget to dress for the season, even when you’re inside.

2. Shut it off. If you’re not using it, or you’re not at home, turn off appliances, electronics and especially your heating and cooling system. There’s no need to leave your TV on for the coffee table.

3. Hit the lights. When you leave a room, flip the switch and turn off the lights.

4.Use water wisely. Turn water off when not in use, such as while brushing teeth and shaving. Make sure the dishwasher is full before you run it. Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees—did you know heating water is the second largest use of energy in the average home?

5. Seal it up. Keep doors and windows closed and block all gaps, cracks and openings to the outdoors. Keep woodstove and fireplace dampers and fireplace doors closed when not in use.

6. Clean it. Clean your dryer’s lint trap before each use. Not only can this be a safety hazard, but also a dirty trap can make your dryer work even harder. Vacuum your refrigerator coils, the same principle applies here. You guessed it—replace your HVAC vent monthly, too.

7. Adjust this thermostat, too. Set the temperature of your refrigerator to 34˚ to 37˚ F. Set the freezer temperature to 0˚ to 5˚ F. Before you put up your leftovers, let them cool to room temperature first.

Posted by Mary Kate Pedigo, CCC, Communications Specialist