No one wants their hard-earned dollars to be consumed by an energy inefficient home. Here are some ways to reduce your energy usage and increase your savings.

Check the seals around windows and doors

Bad seals around doors and windows can create cracks and openings that allow energy to escape from your home, and dollars from your pocket. Caulk and weather strip can help keep energy from seeping out.

Program your thermostat

Programming your thermostat to lower by 10 to 15 degrees when you’re asleep or away from home, over an eight-hour period, can reduce your yearly cooling and heating expenses by about 10%.

Take shorter showers

This may seem pretty obvious, but reducing your time in the shower by just two minutes can lessen your water usage by 10 gallons.

Don’t wash your clothes in hot water

When you do laundry using only warm or cold water, you can reduce your per-load energy usage by half.

Replace air filters

Replace the air filters in your furnace. Clogged or unchanged filters can cause your furnace to work harder or longer and consume more energy, costing you more.

Use energy efficient appliances

When it’s time to replace your water heater, washer, or dishwasher choose energy efficient models. For instance, a dishwasher with the Energy Star label is required to use nearly half the number of gallons of water per cycle compared to older models.

Use appliances in the evening

Heat generated by appliances like ovens and dryers can make your AC work harder to cool your home in the heat of the day. Using these appliances in the evening can reduce the strain on your air conditioner. For more savings, run your dishwasher only when it’s full, and try cleaning dishes by hand once or twice a week.

Maintain ideal refrigerator and freezer temperatures

The optimal refrigerator temperature is between 37 and 40 degrees, according to National Grid—an international electric and gas company. For freezers, the perfect temperature is 5 degrees. Anything colder than those temps is a waste of money. Here’s an energy-savings hack: if you keep your refrigerator and freezer full they won’t have to work as hard to stay cold.

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