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Energy Tips

As summer temperatures rise, we usually tend to slide down that thermostat and turn to our seasonal best friend – the air conditioner. That, unfortunately, leads to much higher than wanted energy bills. In fact, cooling costs account for up to 40% of the average summer utility bill making increased dependence on the AC unit not the most economic or eco-sensitive solution. Here are a few steps you can take to lower your monthly summer bills and keep your home cooler naturally.

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The Moving Experience

Summer Savings – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle With good weather, hot sun, and longer daytime hours, summer hardly seems as the time to save money. Well, that does not necessarily have to be true. Even in the summer there are a number of easy and sensible ways to save. It is now time to make reducing, reusing and recycling your summer priorities.


Limit the use of air conditioning to the hottest days. Fans use much less energy and, when paired with open windows, can effectively cool your home with a nice cross-breeze and reduce your utility bill. Raising your thermostat a few degrees will also reduce your energy bills as well as the risk of regional brownouts.


Run your dishwasher and clothes washer at night, when there's less demand and prices are lower.


Use the warm summer weather and hot sun to help save on your energy bill. Limit the use of your dryer by line-drying your clothes outdoors.


Conserve H2O by watering your lawn during the cool parts of the day - in the early morning or late evening. This will minimize evaporation. Set up your sprinklers so that they do not water the driveway or sidewalk (hand water when possible as you will use much less water this way). Use rain barrels to collect precipitation you can use later.


Plastic bags pollute our land, seas, kill wildlife and, at best, sit practically forever in landfill. Many stores are now beginning to charge for plastic bags, too. Using tote bags will save both money and the environment. The reuse potential of plastic bags is endless. You can take them with you to the supermarket to carry groceries. Any and all unneeded bags can be donated to your child's daycare center or school, a library, food pantry, or by tying them securely to dog-leash signs in public parks, where dog owners can use them to stoop-and-scoop.


Babysitting during the summer is typically easier than cold-weather babysitting. So when planning an evening out, don’t call the hired sitter, instead, ask another family to watch your child in return for your services the following weekend.


Running your air-conditioner in your vehicle guzzles fuel. And we all know how expensive it can be to fill up that gas tank these days. Save gas by opening your windows (and sunroof where possible) and using air conditioning only when even a breeze isn't enough to cool you. When possible, consider carpooling to work to save even more gas.

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This is not the time to get lazy. Even though you have decided to sell it, fixing up your home, putting decorator touches, and therefore making it appealing to the broadest range of potential buyers really pays off in the end. According to the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP), even in the 2007 market slowdown, 93 percent of professionally staged home sold within one month. With the average for professionally staged homes being 32 days, as compared to 160 days for comparable non-staged homes. And perhaps a better statistic is that, on average, they sold for an increase of 3 to 10 percent.

There are two good reasons to switch to high-efficiency appliances. The major appliances in your home such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, and dishwashers account for a big chunk of your monthly utility bill. The fist and obvious reason to switch to high-efficiency appliances is to save a bundle on your bills. If your refrigerator, for example, is more than a decade old, you're spending a lot more money on energy than you need to. Most energy-efficient refrigerators of today will use less than half the energy of a model that's 12 years old or older. The savings on you energy bills make it worth buying the pricier high-efficiency model as it puts that money back into your pocket.

The second reason to user energy-efficient appliances is for the greater good - as they are much better for the environment. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary gas affecting global warming, and virtually all energy-using equipment results in CO2 pollution. Choosing a more efficient furnace will reduce emissions of this pollutant right from your home. Burning of coal or gas in most power plants to create electricity produces emissions. The less energy we use (by switching to high efficiency appliances), the lower our demand will be on these power plants, which will result in less pollution.

Replacing your 20-year-old refrigerator with a new, energy-efficient model, will not only you save about 800 kWh per year but will also reduce your home's CO2 contribution by about one ton per year.

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