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Energy Efficiency Tips

October

Purchase your LED strung Christmas Tree lights soon.  They are sure to sell out.  If you wait until Thanksgiving, you probably won't be able to find a nice one.  LED strung lights are expected to burn without trouble for 200,000 hours, so they could last for at least 20 Christmases. LEDs are also cool to the touch and use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional holiday lights. Their casings are shatterproof as well.

September

Having your ductwork tested for leaking can help lower your heating and cooling bills, extend the life of your air conditioning system and make your house feel more comfortable.

August

If you want to skip some wiring and cut the cost of a deck-lighting job, consider mixing solar fixtures in with low-voltage outdoor lamps - or using them instead.

July

An air conditioning system that is more than 10 years old could be costing you a bundle in unnecessary cooling bills. Cooling your home accounts for more then 40 percent of your energy costs.

June

Tame high summer utility bills by sealing air leaks in ducts that you can see in the attic, crawl spaces, the unfinished basement and garage.  Likewise, seal vents and registers at the point where they meet floors, walls and ceilings.

May

White walls can cut need for more lights.  If you want to save energy in the kitchen, paint it white. An all white kitchen - walls, cabinets, countertops and floors - requires only half of the lighting of a darker kitchen because light surfaces reflect light, while dark ones absorb it.

April

Replacing an older garage door with a new, energy-efficient model can reduce energy loss through the garage door by up to 71%, according to manufacturers.

March

HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are especially welcome at homes of people who suffer form asthma or allergies.  If you buy one, look for a serial number and efficiency rating printed on the filter. Don't settle for marketing slogans like "hospital-grade HEPA", or "HEPA-like." Look for the numbers.

February

Turn on your ceiling fans - yes, in the winter!  Set it to the "winter" or "reverse" setting so the blades create a subtle updraft, which pushes the warm air that naturally rises to the ceiling back down into the room. The fan doesn't actually warm up the room, but it makes the air feel warmer so you'll be more comfortable. And that means you won't reach for the thermostat to crank it up.

January

If you want to save energy in the kitchen, paint it white. An all-white kitchen - walls, cabinets, countertops and floors - require only half of the lighting of a darker kitchen because light surfaces reflect light, while dark ones absorb it.

December

Wait until after dark to run the dishwasher and wash clothes. Electricity is in greater demand during hours of the day when everybody is getting ready for work or cooking dinner.

November

Choose Energy Star computers when it's time to replace your old one.  The federal Energy Star program qualifies everything from printers to refrigerators to water coolers.