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8 Tips for No Cost, Low-Cost Ideas to Save Energy


  1. It does not save money to close registers in unused rooms with central heating and ductwork. Your system was designed to work its best when warm air flows unimpeded throughout the house. (And cool air, too, if you have a heat pump.) Also, make sure furniture, appliances or drapes do not block return registers.
  2. Place lamps in corners to reflect light from two walls instead of one. Light-colored walls reflect more light than dark walls, so less light is needed. Use task lighting, focused where you need it rather than lighting an entire room.
  3. Fluorescent bulbs far outlast incandescent bulbs and can be found to fit most standard fixtures. If you use them in places where you use bulbs that operate four or more hours a day, your investment in the more expensive fluorescent bulbs will more than pay for itself in a couple of years.
  4. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are four times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
  5. Turn off incandescent bulbs when you leave a room, they produce heat and burn out faster. But leave on fluorescent bulbs if you’re going to be gone 15 minutes or less. It takes more energy to turn them on than it does to just let them run, and it wears out the bulb faster.
  6. Keep your oven top, pots and pans spic and span. Shiny reflector pans under your stove burners help focus the heat more efficiently. Tight-fitting lids produce results faster by not letting heat escape, allowing you to use less heat and less water. You can turn the heat off earlier, since it’s retained longer. 
  7. Computer equipment is the fastest-growing category of electricity use in the home. Consider turning off computer and home entertainment equipment if you’re not going to be using it for a while.
  8. Set water heaters at 120-140 degrees. Insulate pipes when possible. In large homes, consider using smaller heaters in different areas.
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