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Posted 11 - 21 - 2008
Winter Tips
Follow these helpful suggestions to conserve energy and save money during the winter months.

Check temperature settings
Weather is a controlling factor in approximately 55% of the total home energy consumption through heating and air-conditioning. Set thermostats at 68 degrees during the winter and even lower when away from the house for more than a few hours. While sleeping, add an extra blanket for warmth. Use a programmable thermostat to turn down thermostats automatically.

Install window treatments

Install storm or thermal windows and doors or double-paned glass. A less expensive alternative is plastic sheeting, which can be temporarily fastened over doors and windows to prevent drafts and retain heat.

Install weather-stripping/caulking and insulation
Sealing air leaks with caulking and weather stripping and installing adequate insulation in walls and the attic are some of the most cost effective measures you can take in your home to save on heating bills.

Close doors

Keep outside doors closed and try to minimize the number of times they are opened and closed. Each time you open the door cold air enters the house.

Read energy labels

Review the ENERGY GUIDE label when buying or replacing larger appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, washers and dryers. If you are thinking about purchasing a new appliance, including TVs or DVD players, look for ENERGY STAR® models. ENERGY STAR® models use less energy and save money.

Unplug/turn off electronic devices

Turn off the computer when you are not using it. Unplug the video games and turn off the television. Play cards, board games or read your favorite story with family and friends instead.

Inspect furnace filter

Clean or replace your furnace filter monthly to help it run more efficiently.

Check water heater
Set water heater temperatures at 120 degrees. By doing this, families can cut water heating bills without sacrificing comfort. If your water heater is hot to the touch, install a thermal blanket to help retain the heat.

Close unused heating vents

Close outside vents (where applicable), and close dampers on unused fireplaces.

Use ceiling fans

Use ceiling fans on a slow speed with the fan direction UP during the winter. This will push warm air away from the ceiling and move it around the room without creating a cool breeze.
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