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Additional Tips for Saving Energy This Summer


Full dishwasherConserving electricity lowers energy bills, and the environmental benefits are an added bonus. Here, courtesy of consumer expert Andrea Woroch, are six energy-saving tips for summer. Check a previous blog post for six more tips. 1. Wash Dishes in Batches You might think that hand-washing dishes would reduce both your water and electrical bill, but Energy Star appliances are actually much better for your family finances. The original investment, however, is terribly high. As a simple fix, wait until the dishwasher is completely full before running it. Avoid filling the machine with oversized pots and pans, as they're cheaper to wash by hand. Keep in mind that dishwashers represent 2 percent of your electrical bill. 2. Lower the Lighting Bill You've heard lots of talk about CFL light bulbs, and there's a reason why. CFLs are cheaper to run, generate less heat and last much longer. Switching out just one incandescent bulb for a CFL will save you $35 in energy costs -- or up to 65 percent -- over the projected 10-year life of the bulb. 3. Turn Off the Stove Pasta, veggies and other foods cooked in water will continue to cook once the water is boiled. Turn the burner off halfway through the cooking process and you'll reduce your energy use. Just make sure you leave on the lid to hold in the heat. 4. Fill Up Your Freezer and Fridge As with your dishwasher, these kitchen appliances operate more efficiently when full. You needn't overbuy at the supermarket, however. Instead, fill bottles and milk containers with water to take up the extra space. 5. Use a Programmable Thermostat Give your air-conditioning system a break when no one is in the house. According to Energy Star, increasing a house's temperature during these hours by pre-programming a thermostat cuts the average household's electric bill by $180 a year. That's because heating and cooling systems are 45 percent of your monthly energy bill. 6. Clean A/C Filters Filters clog up with pollen, animal hair, dust and other unmentionables. Cleaning or replacing your filter improves efficiency. You'll want to clean it more often if you have pets or are experiencing a particularly heavy pollen season.

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