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Friday, 29 June, 2007 2:14 PM

Don't Sweat Your Summer Energy Bill

Angie’s List offers ways to cut your costs this summer

Keeping your cool during the summer heat can be expensive. Electricity prices normally go up in the summer, as people do their best to beat the heat by cranking the a/c.

“You can save energy this summer and still stay cool in your home without breaking the bank,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “Changing a few energy-wasting habits can cut your energy bill by as much as 40 percent.”

Angie recommends trying these tips to easily and comfortably lighten the power load in your home:

  • Dialing for dollars: Each degree you go below 78 increases your energy consumption by about 8 percent. When you turn your AC on, don’t set it to a colder than normal temperature, hoping to get cool fast. Just like the oven won’t heat faster, your home won’t cool down any faster. Instead, you will over-cool and waste energy. Don’t forget the hot-water heater, either: dial it down when you’re going away. Considering lowering its base temperature, as well. At 120-degrees, your shower will still be steamy, but you’ll use less energy in the process.
  • Stick with the program: Programmable thermostats cost between $100 and $150. They help save money by enabling you to automate your room temperature to be higher when you’re not home and lower in time to be cool when you come home.
  • Leaf relief: Planting shady trees around your home will naturally cool your home by standing between it and the sun. The shade will also help your AC condenser to work more efficiently.
  • Open up to cool down at night: Don’t open windows when the outside temperature is warmer than the inside of your house. Use ceiling fans to balance out the room’s temperature.
  • Service counts: Keep your air conditioning unit clean. Have a professional tune-up before the hot season starts and check the filters monthly to see if they need to be cleaned or replaced
  • Smart use: Use heat-producing appliances like clothes dryer, oven and dishwasher when it’s cooler; early morning or night. Unplug home electronics when you’re not using them to save on energy consumption.
  • Fight leaks: Properly seal all windows, doors and ducts or you’ll be cooling the outside air, too.
  • Smart light bulbs: Security bulbs activated by motion sensors shine light when you need them, saving energy and money without sacrificing security.
  • Smart appliances: When buying new air conditioners, refrigerators or windows, consider energy-efficient versions. They’re usually more expensive but thanks to federal tax credits and competitive prices, the prices are falling, and because they use less energy, you save in the long-run, too.

Angie’s List is where consumers turn to get the real scoop on local contractors and companies in more than 280 different categories. Currently, more than 500,000 consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie’s List to help them find the right contractor or company for the job they need done. Members have unlimited access to the list via Internet or phone; receive the Angie’s List magazine, which includes articles on home improvement and maintenance, consumer trends and scam alerts; and they can utilize the Angie’s List complaint resolution service. Get more information and consumer tips at www.angieslist.com.

Source: Angie's List

 

 

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AMERICAJR NETWORK :: COACH'S CORNER PRO SHOP :: SAND CREEK RECORDS :: LIFE MADE EASY