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2004 Archives
Tax filing organization tips
Custodial Accounts
Saving on house energy bills
Cutting monthly expenses
Power of compounding
Online coupon shopping
Contributing to 401k's
Grocery shopping savings
Roth vs traditional IRA
Increasing your home's value
Dollar cost averaging
Setting financial goals

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Tips to Save on Your Home Energy Bills
October 2004

This month's newsletter covers often overlooked way to cut down on your home energy bills bills so you can save more is right in your own home. You can reduce your heating, cooling and electrical costs by taking some relatively simple steps. Some of these tips don't cost much at all and can add up to significant savings on your bills every month. That can really add up if you plan on staying in your house for many years!

I have divided these tips into two main sections: low cost tips that are very easy to implement and then relatively higher cost steps to save on your home energy bills.

Quick, cheap ways to save on your home energy bills

  • Adjust your thermostat - Approximately 40-50% of your home energy bills are devoted to heating and cooling your house. By adjusting your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer, you can save on your heating and cooling bills.
  • Caulk your windows and doors - Let's face it, caulk is cheap! Taking the time to walk around the inside and outside of your house to seal up small gaps can make a big difference.
  • Add weather stripping - Sealing up the sides of doors, windows and other openings with weather stripping will help to cut down on drafts and save on your heating and cooling bills.
  • Insulate hot water pipes - If you have a hot water heater in the basement and you run a hot shower on the top floor, heat is lost getting water up to the upper floors. You can purchase tube insulation that fits quickly and easily over hot water pipes.
  • Lower the temperature of you hot water heater - By adjusting the dial on your heater and lowering the water temperature, you can save on the energy it takes to keep that water hot.
  • Purchase energy efficient light bulbs - These are called compact fluorescent light bulbs. They can be switched out for regular incandescent bulbs for a 70 percent energy savings! They cost more, usually between $10-$20 per bulb, but they last much, much longer (years & years!) and use significantly less energy. Also, the technology has improved so the harsh flicker lighting you associate with fluorescent bulbs is largely a thing of the past.
  • Use fans in your home - Using ceiling fans in the summer to pull cooler outside air into the home instead of using air conditioning is a great way to save money. In the winter, you can reverse the rotation of the fan, so hot air which rises to the ceiling is pushed back down into the room.
  • Use your microwave oven instead of the stove. They use much less energy than conventional convection ovens.
  • Dry your clothes on the clothesline instead of your dryer.
  • In the summer, pull down white window shades to reflect the heat away and save on your cooling bills. Likewise, in the winter, pull the curtains over the windows to cut down on drafts.
  • Replace your heating and air filters - Clogged filters force your heating and cooling equipment to work harder, costing you more.

Ways to save on house bills that cost a little more

  • Insulate your hot water heater - Your hot water heater is basically keeping water hot when you are ready to use it. Periodically, it has to turn on to keep the water at a preset level. This means, it is struggling to keep water hot when you are sleeping or when you are at work. If you purchase an insulation jacket, the heater will not have to turn on as much to keep that huge volume of water hot.
  • Purchase new storm windows - Newer technologies provide higher insulation values than older storm windows. This is a way to save on the massive amounts of heat loss that occurs with most windows without having to replace your windows.
  • Insulate your attic - Heat rises, right up into your attic! This is where a significant amount of heat escapes from your home. Make sure to consult an expert or a book about how to properly insulate your attic, because if it done incorrectly, it can lead to ventilation and moisture problems.
  • Purchase energy efficient appliances - Today's refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers and hot water heaters use much less energy than older appliances.
  • Replace your thermostat - Replacing an older, dumb thermostat with smart, digitally programmable thermostat can lead to significant savings on your home energy bills. They can be preset to adjust the temperature when you are sleeping and away at work.

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Save on your heating and cooling bills

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