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Try these tips to conserve water!

by Lisa Lawson

1.  Insulate your water pipes to get hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.

2.  When it's time to replace your hot water tank, consider a high efficiency tankless water heater. This on-demand water heater can provide continuous hot water for one area or an entire home without having to constantly heat a large tank of water. Be sure to purchase the proper size for your family's hot water needs.

3.  Take shorter showers instead of baths. Showers, especially with water-saver shower heads, use about half as much hot water as a bath.

4.  Get into the habit of turning off the water when brushing your teeth, shaving or soaping in the shower.

5.  Save hundreds of gallons of water by cleaning driveways, walkways and patios with a broom instead of water.

Try these tips for optimal exterior lighting!

by Lisa Lawson

1. Determine how much lighting is needed for your home's exterior, and place lamps where they can provide the most coverage. Replacing older outdoor fixtures and lamps with newer ones can greatly improve efficiency.
2. Select a few focal points of interest to highlight such as the front entrance or beautiful shrubs. Use solar lights to accentuate steps and walkways. Solar-powered lamps are cost-effective and environmental friendly.
3. Switch to low-voltage lights for your outdoor areas and landscape. They can be used to illuminate features at night, rather than an entire area.
4. Install motion-sensing lights or ones with built-in automatic day light shut-off. They provide lighting without the need for leaving outdoor lights on all night.

 

 
Choose one neutral trim paint for the entire house rather than buying a gallon of a particular color for each room and using only a fraction of each can.
Cost: You have to forgo the trendy color combos in the paint manufacturer brochures.
Savings: $50 on paint for three rooms.
Bonus: Crisp white trim is always in style, and you'll never have to rummage around for the right can for touch-ups.

 

5 Ways to Save Money on Air Conditioning

by Lisa Lawson

The average homeowner spends about $375 on air conditioning. Here's how to slash your summer energy bills without sacrificing too must comfort.

1.  Don't just set it and forget it
If you have central air controlled by a thermostat, use a programmable thermostat to save energy turning the desired temperature up during the day when the house is empty. You can
give up a couple degrees at night, too - especially on the hottest days. You may be surprised to find that the contrast between outdoor and indoor temperatures matters as much as the absolute
temperature inside your home. When home, aim to set the temperature at 78 degrees to balance comfort with energy and cost savings. Together with winter energy savings, a programmable thermostat used properly can save the average homeowner up to $150 a year.

2.  Clean the air filter
Whether you have central air or a window unit, a dirty filter will reduce your AC's efficiency,
making it use more energy. Check your HVAC system's air filter monthly and expect to change the filter every three months.

3. Get an annual check-up
If you have central air, bring in a pro to check it out - once per year should cover both the
heating and the cooling season. A professional should be able to diagnose any inefficiencies
before you've wasted money on monthly heating and cooling bills.

4.  Think small
Cooling one room with a window air conditioning unit requires much less energy (and investment) than a whole central air system for your house. Ask yourself how you'll use your new air conditioner, and choose the smallest option that works.

5. Buy Energy Star
Whether you're buying a central air conditioner (which could qualify for a tax credit) or a room unit, efficiency matters. An Energy Star central air system will use about 14% less energy than minimum government standards, and a room air conditioner will save at least 10%.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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