Money Saving Tips

The end of the year is upon us, which means it’s time to remember all of those things you needed to get done throughout the year. It's not too late for your furnace's yearly inspection to be ready for the impending winter weather.

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Don’t wash away your money with the dishes. Always run your dishwasher full. You may live in an area where it is more economical to run it during non-peak hours or in the evening. Ditto for the washing machine! Always run it full. The biggest laundry expense is heating the water.

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Turn down the temperature on your water heater. If you set the temperature at 120° F or below, you will save about 4% of your energy cost per 10° that you lower your thermostat. When you go on vacation, use the “vacation setting” on your water heater if available.

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Insulating pipes and ducts that run through unheated space will result in a significant savings in your energy bill. Heat escapes from bare hot-water pipes causing the water sitting in those pipes to cool down between uses. This results in running extra water from the faucet to get hot water. Wrapping these pipes will save you money. Wrapping cold water lines won't save you energy dollars, but will eliminate dripping and sweating from condensation, avoiding water spots.

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New showerheads use a maximum of 2.5 gallons per minute, which saves you water and energy. By replacing your older showerhead, an average family of four can save from $60 (gas) to $150 (electric). The amount of water saved is about 15,000 gallons!

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You should occasionally check your toilets for leaks. Just place a few drops of food coloring in the tank (NOT the bowl). You can also use a few tablespoons of instant coffee or Kool-Aid. In thirty minutes, if the water in the bowl is colored, the tank is leaking and the stopper and valve seal may need to be replaced.

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Check the seals around windows, doors, electrical outlets or any other potential sources for escaping air. Seal these areas using a good quality caulk, and be sure to re-examine your handiwork every few years.

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