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10 Creative Ways to Save Energy – And Money – This Winter

Reducing the amount of energy you need to keep your home warm and toasty this winter can also save you money on utility bills. Here are a few of our favorite tips.

• Use the power of the sun.
Open your drapes or blinds to bring the warmth of the sun inside during the day. At night, close those drapes to keep the heat in.

• Only heat the rooms you use.
Close off vents in guest rooms or storage areas that don’t need heat.

• Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Moist air feels warmer and holds heat better. Houseplants also add moisture to the air.

• Search out – and turn off – phantom energy grabbers.
Many electronic devises and appliances consume energy even when we’re not using them. For example – unplug your phone and laptop chargers when not in use.  If you can, plug your devises into a power strip that can more easily be turned off when not in use. Set your computer to sleep or hibernate rather than use a screen saver. And unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged. Many chargers draw power continuously even when there are no batteries in them.

• Use cold water.
When you do laundry, switch to cold water. More than 85% of the energy used for washing clothes is to heat the water.

• Get moving!
Instead of turning up the thermostat when you get chilled – opt for some exercise instead. Your heart will pump more blood, which will warm you up – and it’s good for your health, too!

• Cover up.
You know to dress in layers to stay warmer. Consider dressing your hardwood or tile floors as well. Add throw rugs to add to comfort and retain heat. (And be sure to use non-slip rugs, or non-slip rug pads.)

• Upgrade your thermostat.
A digital, or programmable, thermostat can save as much as 15% on heating and cooling costs by dialing back the temperature when the family is out of the house. Smart home thermostats allow you to remote control the temperature from your smart phone or tablet. The Nest Learning Thermostat is easy to use and actually learns the temperatures you like and programs itself.

• Light it up.
Regular incandescent light bulbs burn hot and use a lot of energy. Switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFLs can save you a lot of money – about $6.

• Google it.
Type in “everyday energy tips” to find a boatload of helpful energy and cost-saving tips.

Want to see what a top energy-efficient home looks like? Visit any DeLuca Homes community and tour our model homes today.