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10 Simple Ways to Cut Energy Costs

By Ericka Olin
Published: November 2, 2011
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Contemplating energy-savings projects like adding insulation to your cabin can be daunting. But there are 10 simple things you can do to cut your energy use by 25 percent. Although the following tips may seem insignificant, these simple suggestions may provide big savings in the long run:

1. Close the fireplace damper when not in use.

2. Avoid energy vampires – appliances that continue to suck electricity even when they’re off – by either unplugging them or by choosing products with a low standby power. Visit the
U.S. Department of Energy website to identify low-standby-power products.

3.
Designate rooms that you and your family will occupy in the winter, and close heating vents in any unused rooms.

4.
Insulate electric outlets. (Feel a cool breeze when you place your hand by an outlet on an exterior wall?)

5.
Change ceiling fans to the winter setting so that warm air is pushed down and cold air up.

6.
Turn your water heater down. Some water heater thermostats are automatically fixed at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Most dwellings need water at only 110–120 degrees Fahrenheit.

7.
Better yet, turn off the water heater between visits and/or insulate the water heater; this can save you up to 9 percent in water-heating costs!

8.
Reduce air leakage/infiltration by air-sealing your home with caulk and weather stripping.

9.
Consider replacing your refrigerator. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a new refrigerator with an Energy Star label uses at least 20 percent less energy than required by current federal standards and 40 percent less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001.

10.
Snuggle up!
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