Energy-Smart Ways to Save Money

*Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you use this correctly, it helps you to make sure you don’t pay to heat for a houseful of empty rooms. You can set the thermostat to drop the heat or shut if off entirely when your family is out during the day and to warm the house up and hour or so before anyone returns. You can also adjust the thermostat to lower the heat at bedtime, when the family does to sleep and then to climb again an hour or so before somebody wakes up.

Each degree you lower it during the month reduces your energy bill by 2 to 3 percent, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Programmable thermostats cost between $25 and $100 and easy to install.

*Seal your House
If your house is drafty, it takes more heat to get and maintain the temperature you want. Expanding foam sealant, available in cans, dries to look like Styrofoam and can be sprayed on cracks in window and door frames. Also check interior heating pipes for cracks and unsealed joints. Invest in insulating sleeves to put over each pipe, and make sure they fit snug over the pipe so you can save energy.

*Upgrade your windows
Buying new energy-efficient windows, can get you up to $200 tax credit. If you already have energy-efficient windows, replace any missing parts or make necessary repairs to lower your energy bill.

*Use your dishwasher
Running a full load of dishes saves you more then handwashing them, as long as you don’t rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Make sure you turn off the “heat-dry” cycle and turn on the “air-dry” cycle.

*Change your furnace filter monthly
Changing your furnace filter every month reduces your energy bill and heat or cools your house faster.

*Wash clothes in cold water
Cold-water washing can get all but extremely soiled laundry clean and save you around $60 yearly. Plus, it conserves your clothes as well, by limiting shrinkage, dye bleeding and other types of fabric damage.

*Do certain errands in the middle of the night
Utility companies offer discounts during off-peak times, such as the middle of the night.
Run the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer during those off-peak times and save money.

*Install a tankless water heater
A tankless water heater runs anywhere from $800 to $2000, plus the cost of a licensed plumber to install it, but you can save up 45 percent on your water-heating bill. They don’t maintain a reservoir of hot water, but heat water when the tap is turned on by passing through hot coils. There is an endless supply of water and it heats in as little as 5 seconds.

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