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December 14, 2016 • Real Estate and the Environment

Energy Saving Tips for Winter from REA!

Not looking forward to crazy power bills this winter? These tips can help you save money all winter long.

Every room of your house holds possibilities for energy savings this winter, whether you own a Dallas, Texas real estate, or live in Chicago, Illinois. You can use this list and go room to room becoming more aware of where your top energy users are and where you could be saving.

Start In The Kitchen

Your kitchen has some of the most heavy energy users in your home, and some of them run continuously. Even though kitchen appliances used today consume only about half as much energy than those built just ten years ago. Over the winter months and especially around the holidays, however, your stove, oven, and dishwasher may seem to be running almost continually and the fridge being opened more frequently can cause electric bills to increase. These tips can help:

  • Don’t open the oven door to check on food – instead, use the oven light. Also, cook several items at once, and use your fast preheat option if possible.
  • On the stove-top, use the smallest burner appropriate for the size of the pan and keep lids on pots to speed cooking and increase temperatures. Make sure your burners are clean, and invest in cheap reflectors – this can save up to 30% of stove-top energy.
  • Try to use alternate cooking methods, like microwave ovens, convection ovens, toaster ovens,  crock pots and electric skillets to cut oven use. You can even grill out, or deep fry your turkey outside.
  • Leave space in your fridge and freezer for cold air to circulate around food items, and try to limit the number of times you open the fridge each hour.
  • Use a sink full of hot soapy water to soak dishes, then scrub them and set them to one side before draining the sink and rinsing quickly or filling the dishwasher. Use the air dry option on your dishwasher and always run full loads.

Continue In The Living Room

Your living room should be comfortable so everyone feels cozy and happy, but keep in mind that extra people in your home raises the temperature automatically – and your house means your rules. Plan around peak usage times.

  • Don’t kick the temperature thermostat up if no-one is using the room. Also make sure people aren’t running around in shorts and tank tops then complaining of being cold. Encourage sweater, wooly socks, and so on.
  • Decorating for Christmas? Consider a fiber optic Christmas tree or LED light options, and wait to turn the tree on until evening – at which point you can use the tree as a light source.
  • Close vents in other areas of the house to keep warm air centralized, and shut doors leading into the main room.

 Bathrooms & Laundry Room

  • Do you have a newer water heater? If not, consider installing one and setting the thermostat on it to keep water just above a comfortable hot temperature.
  • Only wash full loads of clothes. Use cold water whenever possible. Use the sense dryness setting on the dryer rather than the timer. Drop the temperature on the auxiliary water heater if it only feeds the laundry room and not the kitchen or bathrooms.
  • Take timed showers instead of long baths, and use a space heater to warm up the bathroom instead of heating the whole house up.

Double Check The Bedrooms

  • Guest bedrooms should have the vents closed and doors closed so they don’t waste warm air.
  • Use a timer on your thermostat so it drops the temperature by up to 8 degrees at night, and raises it back up half an hour before your alarm goes off. Wear warm nightclothes and use more blankets.

These tips can help you save energy all winter long, meaning you can save your money for home improvements in 2017! If home improvements aren’t on the menu, and instead selling or buying a new home is, look no further than The Official Real Estate Agent Directory to find a real estate agent to help you during the process.

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