Energy Awareness Month

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by Ed Castellanos

November isn’t just about pumpkin spice lattes and fall decorations; it’s also Energy Awareness Month. Find out how you can reduce your household’s energy consumption this fall while preparing for the seasons ahead.

Reducing Energy Use

The average U.S. household consumes tens of thousands of kilowatt hours of electricity each year, and much of it is completely unnecessary. Making changes as simple as adding a few energy-efficient appliances and turning off gadgets when you’re not using them can save you a significant amount of money while also reducing your carbon footprint.

Don’t fret if new Energy Star-labeled appliances aren’t in the budget. Instead, try working in a few small changes from this Home Energy Checklist to help you save throughout the year. Here are a few more ideas:

• Unplug electronics, gaming consoles and chargers when not in use.

• Insulate your water heater with a blanket and turn the temperature down to at least 120 degrees.

• Replace bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs and turn them off anytime you leave a room.

• Schedule an energy audit and replace your thermostat with a programmable unit.

Prepping Your Home for the Cold

During cooler months you can save additional money and energy with simple, inexpensive fixes:

• Using insulating drapes to help diffuse winter chill. Just make sure to open any south-facing drapes to take advantage of the sun’s natural heating capabilities.

• Find and seal air leaks. Check windows, doors and pipes. Use weatherstripping or caulk to stop cool air from seeping in.

• Close fireplace dampers when not in use. You can also have the entire flume completely sealed off if you use your home’s heating system exclusively.

Reducing your energy consumption not only makes a positive contribution to our planet, it also saves money for fun fall pastimes. With just a few of these small changes, you can get more from your energy budget.

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