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Top 10 Ways to Conserve Energy In Your Home

These days, energy-efficient homes are all the rage. After all, they can help you not only save money, but also help reduce your environmental impact. If you're trying to find ways to keep more money in your bank account, then energy conservation is probably the most productive way to do that. Here are a few tips to help the planet—and your wallet—stay green.

1. The Thermostat Is Your Friend

Don't set your thermostat and walk away. Instead, try cooling your home to 78 degrees with the fan on auto. Planning on being away for an extended time? Go ahead and nudge it up to 82 degrees while you're out of the house. When you return home, open windows to let the warmer air exit first, then lower the thermostat back down a few degrees. A harder-working unit burns more dollars!

2. Every Star Has Fans

You're a superstar, so let your fans help you stay cool—your ceiling fans, that is. They do a terrific job of circulating the air in each major room to help take the load off of the air conditioner, but be careful not to allow them to stay on all day long. They require electricity, as well, and those costs can add up quickly. When you leave the room, turn that fan off!

3. Some Like It Hot

Next up: check your water heater. If it's set to a temperature higher than 120 degrees, dial it down a notch. Not only is this infinitely safer (especially if there are children in the home), but it will also save money on your monthly electricity bill. Hot water is the goal; not being able to cook hot dogs under the faucet. Save money and prevent burns—it's a win-win.

4. Let Your A/C Breathe

Have you ever tried to breathe with a congested nose? It takes a lot more effort than if you were breathing freely. Imagine this is the way your air conditioner feels when the filter is rarely (or never) changed. All of the dust and debris builds to prevent air from flowing freely, which puts double or triple the work on your unit. The harder it works to breathe, the more you'll pay for it.

5. Drafts Are For Sports, Not Windows

Be sure to walk around to every single window in your home and, with them closed, put your face next to it. The skin on your face is much more sensitive than your hands, so you'll be able to feel even the slightest draft more easily. This is an old (and free) test that can readily tell you if you need to look into caulking or maybe even replacing the windows altogether. If air is coming in, it means your dollars are flying out.

6. Don't Overfill The Washing Machine

Rule number one would be to only wash full loads. Try and refrain from washing just a pair of socks if you can. That is a waste of water and you'll pay for it mightily in the end. When you have a full load, assess if you actually need to use the 'large' load setting versus the 'medium' or even the 'small.' The bottom line is only use as much water as you need. Excess water does nothing more than burn a hole in your bank account.

7. Time Your Dryer

There's a such thing as 'overdrying' your clothes. At a certain point, they are simply no longer damp. If you have your dryer running off the timer, your clothes are probably staying in there for a longer amount of time than necessary. Not only can that shrink your garments, but it'll drive your energy bill through the roof. Always use the timer function on the dryer and if the clothes are still damp when it expires, simply reset it accordingly. For dryers without that function, be sure to check often and stop the dryer once it's done its job.

8. Stop Neglecting the Lint Filter

Speaking of dryers, they need to breathe as well. Similar to the air conditioning unit, it pulls air in to accomplish its goal. Because of this, it needs a clean lint filter. Check this frequently especially after loads of non-whites and denims as they usually expel more lint than other loads. By doing something as simple as taking two seconds to wipe the lint filter, your dryer will run more efficiently and your money will thank you for it.

9. Take It Easy on the Pool Pump

You shouldn't run your pool pump 24 hours a day with no rest. Taking that route, you might as well make a pile of your money and set it aflame. Be resourceful about when you run your pump, and remember that outside temperatures dictate when it's most needed. The general rule of thumb is to run the pool pump an average of six hours per day in the summer and only four hours per day in the winter. That is, unless you fancy a swim in single digit temperatures.

10. Turn It All Off

This is the simplest tip of them all, yet, the most neglected. Leave a room? Turn the lights and the television off. Leaving home? Turn everything off and dial up the thermostat. A person-less room has no need for lights and your recliner isn't watching the 5 o'clock news. So do yourself a favor, kill the power when it's not needed, and your savings will come alive.

A Penny Saved Is a Down Payment Earned

Think about it this way: every penny you save is another that you can put towards the new home purchase that you're in the market for. If you're selling the home, those funds can be saved towards helping to stage it with impressing the buyer in mind.

No matter how you slice it, saving both energy and money keep your life "green." At the Stephanie MacDonald Team, we have a lot of experience in assisting our clients with ideas on how to improve their homes to attract buyers. Contact us for a free home evaluation.

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