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<h2 align="center">How to save energy costs</h2>
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Whenever winter approaches, and particularly for those living in the colder climates, for instance the Northeast, energy costs will usually soar because of the additional use of heating fuel. Also during the summer months energy costs can still rise by the additional use of an air conditioning. But by taking the following preventive energy reducing measures, this cost can be reduced which will result not only in energy savings but monetary savings.

1. By lowering the thermostat to around 65 degrees F or even lower to around 60 degrees F when no one is home will cut down the percentage of energy use required.

2. By having the furnace (particularly oil furnaces) professionally cleaned, i.e. clearing it of carbon and other residue will help it to operate and burn fuel more efficiently.

3. By installing storm windows or windows specifically made to keep heat from escaping and cold air from coming in, will cut down on heating fuel cost.

4. By taking an inventory of all outer windows, doors, outside vents, and checking to see what areas might be letting cold air come in, or allowing heat to escape, then weather-stripping around these windows and doorways will cut down on fuel consumption.

5. By not heating rooms that are not being used, prevents unnecessary waste of fuel.

6. By taking special care with fireplaces, ensuring that cold air isnít coming in, or that heat isnít escaping through a damper, will increase energy savings.

7. By raising during the summer months the temperature of an air conditioner to around 76 degrees F rather than say leaving it down to around 70 degrees F will save on electricity as each degree will save approximately 5% in energy cost.

8. By keeping the air conditioning filter clean will also help the unit run more efficiently.

9. By installing the air conditioning unit on the shady side of the house rather than in direct sun will also help it operate better.

10. By looking for the most energy efficient appliance will cut down on electrical/gas costs. For instant it is now known that front-loading washing machines uses one-third less water and energy than top-loading washing machines.

11. By ensuring that refrigerator door seals are tight, i.e. putting a piece of paper between the door and refrigerator and after shutting the door, if the paper pulls out easily, replace the seal. Also by cleaning the coils in the back once a year will help it run more efficiently.

12. By looking for a dryer that has a drying sensor feature, which will automatically turn off when the clothes are dried and will stop the dryer from running longer than necessary.

13. By using compact fluorescent bulbs (aka CF bulbs) which lasts 10,000 hours as compared to only 750 hours for incandescent bulbs will in the long run save not only energy, but the cost of bulb replacement.

14. By reducing the temperature on the hot water heater to around 110 degrees F, and insulating the unit will reduce energy cost.

15. By using heavier drapes/curtains in the winter will help prevent heat from escaping, or in the summer, keep the cool air from an air conditioner inside.

16. By installing awnings on outside windows and doors on the sunny side of a house will also help keep a house cooler in the summer months, plus the use of shade trees.

17. Bu installing an attic fan will eliminate hot air that can put a strain on an air conditioning system during the hot summer months as heat will build up in that space. And a black roof will also attract and keep the heat as opposed to light colored roofing.

18. By adding more installation to the structure of a house, whether in between walls or between ceiling and attic will make the house more energy efficient.

19. By always turning lights off when leaving a room will cut down on energy costs.

20. By washing clothes mostly in cold water wash rather than hot water will help reduce the over all electric bill.

By taking the above energy saving preventive measures will not only help cut down energy costs, but will also help keep the environment cleaner. This takes a little time and effort, but well worth it in terms of yearly savings.

<p align="right">Written by MARIE ROY<font face="Arial" size="2">

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