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5 ways to save energy in your home
Winter is not over yet! Here are five tips to help you make your home more energy-efficient and how you can save a few bucks:
- The basics: Routine home maintenance saves you money every day. Fixing small problems prevents big emergency repair bills and extends the life of your appliances.
- Best bets: Hire an energy auditor to determine where you are wasting energy. Some utility companies offer rebates or discounts for audits, too. Call yours to find out.
- Repair/replace energy hogs: Do a quick cost-benefit analysis before you replace an older appliance. If it hasn't reached the halfway point of its useful life, a repair may be the most cost-effective move. For example: Refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers/dryers and water heaters should last 10 to 15 years. Ovens and stoves should last 10 to 20 years. Central air units should last 15 to 20 years
- Add insulation: More than half the homes in the U.S. aren't properly insulated even though it's one of the least expensive – and most effective – energy-saving projects. Climate determines what materials you'll need and how much
- Easy stuff: Lights are your home's fourth largest electricity user. High-efficiency bulbs won't earn you tax breaks but you'll see a drop in your electric bill.