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8 Tips To Keep Energy Costs Down

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Making some simple changes can make some significant changes to your home heating or cooling bills. You can also visit PSEG's website to receive a Home Energy Analyzer for personalized energy saving tips and recommendations.

1. Insulate!
A lot of your energy costs literally go out the door (or window)- Take note of drafts. There are several products out there - weather stripping, insulator kits, and even widow shrink film. All of these options help keep the cold/heat out. 

2. Change your filters
Dirty filters are not only detrimental to your air quality but also for energy efficiency. Clogged air filters make it harder for your system to push the air through the system therefore costing you more to run it.

3. Decorate with efficiency in mind
Pick curtains and blinds that will insulate windows during the winter and block out hot heat during the summer. A good thing to note is to open up those window coverings during the winter to let the warming sun rays in. Another design tip- make sure that furniture is not blocking or covering your heat sources. 

4. Don't let your money go up with the smoke
Did you know that using your fireplace may not actually be giving you the heating benefits that you think? A defective damper can mean that your homes heated or conditioned hot air is going right up the chimney. An open or unsealed damper in a well-insulated house can raise overall energy consumption by up to 30 percent, or nearly $200 per year.  A damper should be open when the chimney is in use, like when you have a fire going so that the smoke can escape but closed at all other times. Speak to a professional to see if your damper is in tip top shape. 

5. Keep it in or let it out- heat that is!
During the winter, once you are done cooking leave your oven open or cracked to allow the heat to escape into your kitchen (this tip works best with wall ovens as oven ranges are close to the floor which could be tripping hazards or dangerous for pets). Conversely during the summer, try and limit the use of your indoor cooking equipment. The same goes for your window/wall air conditioners, if you have them. Make sure to remove or cover the air conditioners to prevent drafts during the winter.

6. Ceiling Fans
So, we know that the use of ceiling fans has not been popular in design but they can be useful to save on your energy costs. As you know hot air rise and cool air sinks. During the cooler months, set your fans on reverse so they are turning clockwise. The clockwise motion pushes the warmer air down. 

7. Smart Thermostat (or at least Programmable)
A Smart Thermostat (ex. Nest) or a programmable one help to save costs because you can easily set your temperature when you are sleeping or when you are going to be away from home. To save costs it has been recognized that while you are home, you should set your thermostat to 68° during the winter and 78° during the summer. You should adjust the temperature according for when you are away.  

8. Dress appropriately
This may seem like a silly thing but bundle up for the cooler weather and wear lighter clothes during the warmer weather. Adding on or taking off a layer could mean dollars and cents in savings on your heating bill.

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