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Home Energy Efficiency

Are you tired of high utility bills landing in your mailbox but aren't sure how to lower those bills without turning your heat way down or taking cold showers? Read on for some helpful tips that could save you money.

According to EnergyStar.gov, Nearly 70% of an average home's energy use falls into 4 categories: heating (29%), water heating (14%), appliances (13%) and lighting (12%).

Heating

  • Use a programmable thermostat. Running the heat all day when you're at work is a waste, but keeping it off all day means you're coming home to a freezing house. A programmable thermostat allows you to schedule when the heat turns on and off and some will even learn your schedule automatically.
  • Have a professional check your heating and cooling equipment to make sure it's running efficiently. Also replace air filters regularly - whenever it looks dirty, or every 3 months, whichever is sooner.

Water heating

  • In addition to lowering your thermostat to about 120 degrees (F), adding insulation to an older water heater or the pipes themselves can keep water warmer longer.

Appliances

  • Wait to run your dishwasher until it is full; a half-load uses the same amount of water and energy as a full one.
  • When you're using the stove, choose the right burner for your pots and pans. Using a big burner for a small pot can waste a lot of energy.
  • Keep your washing machine set to use cold water, whenever possible. And don't forget to clean that lint trap in the dryer.

Lighting

  • Using compact fluorescent or LED bulbs is an excellent idea, particularly for lights you use all the time, like above your porch or in your kitchen.

It's easy to get started saving on energy and once you see those bills get lower and lower, you'll want to keep going. Check out EnergyStar.gov for more tips and information.

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Dean Olson Insurance Agency

3570 Lexington Ave North Suite 201
Shoreview, MN 55126
Main office: 651-633-0408

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