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For many families, all it takes is a few minor changes and upgrades around the house to bring their energy bills back down to a manageable level. Read ahead for a look at some proven tips and tricks you can use to lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
While it might be tempting to crank on your HVAC system as soon as the weather changes, there are some steps you can take to avoid using it as often. During the summer, ceiling fans should be turning counterclockwise to push cool air down and circulate it through each room. Reversing your ceiling fans during the winter months will redistribute warm air that has collected near the ceiling.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting accounts for around ten percent of residential energy consumption. If you change out all of your traditional incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs, you might be able to cut your home's lighting costs by over 75 percent. CFL bulbs not only give off the same amount of light, but they also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Within just a few years, these new bulbs could save you thousands of dollars.
Older water heaters work by keeping a large tank of water hot at all times. This means they will continue to use energy even when no one is home. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, only use energy to heat water right when it is needed. These advanced devices heat up water in a series of spiraling tubes just before it comes out of a faucet or shower head.
Properly sealing your home is going to improve your family's comfort and cut back on your monthly energy bills. The first thing you should check is the insulation in your attic and crawlspaces. The insulation should be tight-fitting, thick, and free of mold or any other forms of damage. You might also want to take some time to seal up cracks and pinholes around mail slots, windows, doors, and vents.
A phantom load takes place when an electronic device continues to draw a small amount of power even though it is not being used. These loads have become such a problem that some specialists estimate they are costing families hundreds of dollars a year. In addition to shutting down your electronics after you are done with them, you should also consider investing in power strips. A single power strip with an OFF switch can prevent multiple phantom loads at a time.