Brrr! It’s Getting Cold – Bundle Your Home

Are you done with your winter preparation? We are not talking about whether you finished your holiday shopping, but rather if your home is ready for the cold weather to come. Winter preparedness includes tuning up your heating system, weather-stripping your home, installing and programming a smart thermostat, and making sure your heating equipment is energy-efficient.

Tune Ups

Just like cars, HVAC systems need a tune up to maintain their efficiency. Now is a good time to take care of that before it starts getting really cold and specialists are harder to get a hold of. You can do some of your own preventative maintenance by keeping the filters clean. Cleaning or replacing air filters every 1-3 months will improve airflow, making circulation more efficient. It is also a good idea to make sure that vents are not blocked by furniture.

Weather-stripping

Sealing up your home will

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The Naughty and Nice Lists – Appliances

We recently told you how you can find out how much energy your electronics and appliances consume. Today, we are going to look at a few appliances that are commonly found in homes and how much energy they consume, essentially writing up a Naughty and a Nice list for them!

COOLING

Naughty: 3.5 Ton Air Conditioner (10,530 kWh/year)       

Nice: Evaporative Cooler (1,150 kWh/year)

Air conditioners use a lot of energy and they are built to cool an entire house at once. Evaporative coolers cool just a single small room, so using one in whatever room you are in can make a big difference in the air temperature while providing big savings on your bill.

HEATING

Naughty: Portable Heater (630 kWh/year)

Nice: Furnace and Fan (66 kWh/year)

Portable heaters come in different forms, but the small ones with a fan built in can circulate the warm

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Taking Your Money Back from the Grinch

Has the Grinch been stealing your holiday merriment by racking up charges on your energy bill? Do the lights not seem as bright because all you see is glowing dollar signs? It is time to take your money back from the Grinch! We have some holiday energy tips to help you weed out the naughty electronics, and get some nice ones that get the job done and save you some money.

Lighting is a major part of the holiday season not only because of all the festive lights everywhere, but also because it is getting darker sooner. Pretty much all of the holiday lights available these days are LED, which saves on electricity. We have talked about holiday lights before and how the LEDs compare to incandescent strands. Suffice it to say, LEDs are brighter, last longer, and consume less than a fifth the amount of energy of an incandescent

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Save Energy Year-Round With a Family Gift

This holiday season, why not treat the whole family to a warm gift that benefits them year round? Perhaps something to brighten up the holidays and every day? You can do just that by investing in learning thermostats and the latest in energy saving light bulbs! Bring some holiday cheer and energy savings to your home that will put smiles on your faces all year long.

Learning thermostats are powerful tools to reduce your energy bill. Home heating and cooling contributes to about half of your energy bill each month, so reducing that amount can make a big difference. Getting a programmable thermostat can help reduce your energy usage, but a learning thermostat can maximize your savings. Thermostats like the Nest actually pay attention to your climate control habits, such as when the heat is turned on, what temperature it’s set to, and when it’s shut off.

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The Naughty and Nice Lists – Electronics

Our homes are filled with all sorts of electrical appliances and devices. Which of those devices are naughty and which ones are nice, though? That is to say, what devices are more energy efficient and which ones are getting lumps of extra coal in their stockings? We’ll give you a quick rundown of how to figure out what your electronics are consuming and tips on how to cut back on that amount.

One way to figure out the energy consumption of your home electronics is to check out their Energy Guide label. Not all electronics carry this label, but those that do will give you an estimated yearly operating cost and energy consumption. The rate may vary depending on your electricity provider and the electricity plan you have, and the energy consumption will vary based on your usage of the product.

Other, more involved ways to track

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Using Thermostat Automation to Decrease Heating Costs

Thermostats are invaluable in a home that is constantly exposed to shifting temperatures year round. They help keep us nice and cool all summer long, and warm and toasty during winter months. Home climate control contributes to half of our energy bills each year because frequently, the AC or heat is left on even while there is no one home. Thermostat automation is a prime method to curbing this wasteful use of climate control systems, and they can even save you a bundle of money.

Automated thermostats, also called programmable thermostats, allow you to set periods of time throughout the day where the temperature settings will change according to the needs of that time. Say, for example, on a typical work day, you want to wake up to a warm home in the morning, set the thermostat to warm up to 70°F about a half hour before

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25 Energy Saving Holiday Gifts to Give, Pt. 3

Stuck wondering what to get your family and friends this holiday season? We have a list of awesome gadgets that can save energy and put a big smile on the recipient’s faces (and if you’re getting one of these great gift ideas for yourself, we won’t tell anybody). Energy savings are a year round holiday bonus!

Part 1  |  Part 2

20.  Rechargeable Batteries — For gifts that use common battery types like AA and AAA, rechargeable batteries and a charger will save on waste and keep your gift recipient happy. 

21.  Space Heater — Most people wouldn’t associate space heaters with energy efficiency, but they can actually save a lot of energy over your household heating. They are designed to only heat a small area, so as long as you’re not trying to warm an entire room, they can save you money.

22.  Blanket — A

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25 Energy Saving Holiday Gifts to Give, Pt. 2

Stuck wondering what to get your family and friends this holiday season? We have a list of awesome gadgets that can save energy and put a big smile on the recipient’s faces (and if you’re getting one of these great gift ideas for yourself, we won’t tell anybody). Energy savings are a year round holiday bonus!

Part 1

11.  Crock Pots — Crock Pots may not cook as fast as a pressure cooker, but they do save a lot of energy. Prep everything in the morning, load it in the crockpot and turn it on, and when you and your family get home from work and school, dinner will be ready to go!

12.  Light Bulbs — Yeah, they may seem like the socks of this wishlist, but with energy efficient, designer lighting like Plumen, bulbs can be functional and decorative. And since they are fluorescent, they

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25 Energy Saving Holiday Gifts to Give, Pt. 1

Stuck wondering what to get your family and friends this holiday season? We have a list of awesome gadgets that can save energy and put a big smile on the recipient’s faces (and if you’re getting one of these great gift ideas for yourself, we won’t tell anybody). Energy savings are a year round holiday bonus!

1.    Tablets — Tablets are far more energy efficient than desktops or even laptop computers. Since they run off a battery, they don’t always need to be plugged in which also saves on electricity.

2.    Energy Star Power Tools — Many appliances come with the Energy Star seal of approval these days, and that includes power tools. Give the handyman or woman in your life an energy efficient Craftsman C3 Drill/Driver kit so you can get the house back in shape after all the holiday

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Holiday Energy Consumption: Decorating With Holiday Lights

Once Thanksgiving is over (though sometimes well before it even happens), the festive, colorful holiday lights come out and decorate houses all over town. If you’re looking to string up the lights and light up the tree, the type of bulbs you use can affect your yuletide revelry. Older incandescent light strings can use up to 10 times more electricity than LED bulbs of the same number and size.

There are three main sizes used for decorative lights: Mini, C7, and C9. Minis are the smallest bulbs that are commonly used for tree lights, while C9 are the largest of the group and are commonly used for lighting houses and outdoor displays. As expected, the larger the bulb, the more energy they use, but how much exactly?

Mini bulbs use the least amount of energy.  A 100 bulb strand of mini incandescent bulbs consumes about 40 watts

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