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Cutting Energy Costs this Winter

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As the outdoor temperatures continue to decline, homeowners are turning up their thermostats. Naturally, turning up the heat could mean extra dollars spent, and accelerating utility costs aren’t likely to be deterred by the winter season. Many homeowners are looking for ways to trim down those energy costs. Sunnova, a solar-power company, offers a few ways to help keep the bills low, says Realtor Mag.

Ideas from Sunnova for cutting energy costs, reported by Realtor Mag:

  1. Consider installing a timer on the water heater. It will shut off when you’re not there and prevent wasting hot water when no one is home.
  2. Use cold water instead of hot water when washing clothes. Nearly 90 percent of the energy consumed by washing machines goes to heating the water, according to EPA’s Energy Star program.
  3. Use a slow cooker and microwave when you cook. You can reduce up to 50 percent of energy consumed in meal preparation by not using the range and oven and using a slow cooker or microwave to heat instead.
  4. Keep your computer in sleep or hibernation mode when you’re not using it.
  5. Unplug certain electronics and appliances that use “phantom power” – they’re still using up energy from the outlet even when they’re not in use.
  6. Keep the fridge between 36 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer between zero and 5 degrees. Defrost any ice build-up thicker than a 0.25-inch to improve refrigerator efficiency.