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Using a programmable thermostat is one way to save energy in your home this winter. | Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/BanksPhotos.
Winter. For many of us, the season means holiday shopping, hot chocolate, and time spent with friends and family. For those of us who love saving energy, the winter season also means that there are many ways to save money by conserving energy. Check out these top 10 tips below:
- Air seal and insulate your home: you can prevent heat from escaping or cold from entering your home – lowering your heating bills – by insulating and air sealing your home.
- Use a programmable thermostat: you can reduce your waste heat by using a programmable thermostat that can reduce the heat at a specific time when you're away from the home and increase the heat before you get back for dinner.
- Install ENERGY STAR doors and windows: doors and windows are places where cold/warm air can easily come through, so by installing energy efficient doors and windows, you can save energy and money with their better quality insulation.
- Use LED holiday lights: Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, are at least 75% more efficient and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lights. By using LED holiday lights, you can be at ease knowing that you won't be spending a bundle to keep those lights on.
- Turn off the lights: If you're out on vacation this winter, you can save energy by making sure the lights are turned off. Find out more on when to turn off the lights.
- Use lighting controls: you can save additional money on your electricity bill by using motion sensor and timer controls.
- Lower the water heater: one significant way to reduce energy consumption if you're away on vacation is to simply lower the water heater. If you'll be gone three or more consecutive days, set the water heater to the lowest or 'vacation' setting if there is one.
- Unplug electronics: when you are away, unplug those kitchen appliances, DVDs, TVs, and computers to save energy and money. These electronics, when plugged in, use up energy even when they are turned off. Here are some more tips.
- Use a power strip: if the idea of running around the home to unplug everything is a bit too much, use power strips to plug in multiple appliances, and then turn it all off with the flip of the power strip switch.
- Adjust the blinds and curtains: last but not least, another useful way to conserve energy while on vacation is to lower the blinds and curtains. Close your curtains and shades at night to protect against cold drafts; open them during the day to let in warming sunlight.