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Keep Money in Your Pocket with Home Energy-Saving Tips

I just returned from Michigan where the temperature was about 25 degrees, that’s truly freezing for a San Diego native!

While I was there I looked at quite a few homes that have double doors to keep the cold air and blustery wind, snow, and sleet from chilling off a cozy home. But a lot of homes don’t have weather-proofing, Checking your home to make sure it’s winter-proofed can save you money. All too often, homeowners don’t bother to give their homes this important once-over look until they are shocked by their first gas and electric bill.

If you start now, you can ward off high energy bills by making sure that your home isn’t spilling costly energy out the doors or windows.

Check your fireplace.
Start by examining your fireplace. Fireplaces can be a huge value in homes. They can warm the home their charm and can help with resale value. But if your fireplace is simply sucking the hot air up out the chimney and causing you to have to run your heater to warm up the house—you have an energy-drain instead of an energy-saver.

What can be done?
Putting in a fireplace insert. They fit within the firebox of a masonry fireplace. The insert is surrounded by a steel shell and allows air from your home to flow between the firebox and the shell to be warmed. “Most of them are in sealed-combustion chambers so they don’t rob the air in the house in order to keep the fire burning. The venting system is such that it expels the bad gasses and brings in the fresh air to keep the fire burning,” says Kaye Thornton of Brower Mechanical, Inc in Rockland, California.

The inserts also often have blowers which help to improve the warming efficiency and heat circulation in a room. There are both manual and thermostat-regulated blowers.

Check your windows.
Your windows and doorframes are another way for cold air to seep into your home. Any cracks, as small as they may be, can lead to a big drain on your wallet. It’s estimated that a household can save $150 a year if the home has the most efficient and best window products now widely available. But not everyone wants to take on the cost of replacing all the windows.

What can be done?
What you can do is use a removable film that sticks to your windows and helps to insulate them during the colder months. The film is transparent and helps lock in the heat while keeping the cold out.

Check your thermostat.
Keeping your thermostat set to a slightly lower temperature can be a significant money-saver.

What can be done?
Lower your thermostat just one degree and you could see as much as a 10 percent cut in your heating bill. It’s worth it to simply lower the thermostat and put on that warm, cuddly sweater or robe.

Check your freezer.
Your freezer may be working extra hard and that can cause it to use more energy. Most of us don’t routinely defrost our freezer but we should. When frost builds up it increases the amount of energy needed to keep the motor running.

What can be done?
Defrosting your freezer helps to stop the nasty freezer burn that attacks your ice cream and other frozen foods. It also helps to give your freezer a break from working so hard to keep the temperature cold.

Have a tip you want to share? Email me at phoebe@livefitmagazine.com.

 

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