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How to Save the Most When You're the Holiday Host...

by The Cathy Russell Team


From our friends at Home Warranty of America...

Celebrating your first holiday season in your new home is a special milestone. We hope that this year is exceptionally memorable. However, all the necessary tasks such as cooking, baking, heating, lighting, and cleaning can run up your bills faster than Black Friday shopping. That's why HWA is dishing up several of the best ways to conserve your home's energy this holiday season.

1. Kill two birds with one oven. As we all know, holiday season centers around delicious, home-cooked food. Try cooking as many dishes in the oven at once - reheating and readjusting the oven zaps energy.

2. Be the dishwasher. Make the post holiday meal a time to bond over the sink. You'll save water and the energy it takes to heat it by filling sink basins with soapy water and washing and drying them yourself. If you do decide to use the dishwasher, make sure it's completely full before running so you can cut down on the number of loads you must do.

3. Manage your fireplace. The hearth is the ultimate energy saver. Make it count by turning down the thermostat to 60 degrees or lower and closing the door to that room. Just don't forget to close the flue when you're done!

4. Decorate with candles. Adorn your home and walkway with luminaries for a beautiful yuletide glow that won't run up energy bills. To ensure your luminaries are safe, be sure to weigh bags down with sand or use a battery-operated, flameless candle.

5. Appreciate the small things. Miniature holiday lights will twinkle just as long and brightly - while using about 70% less energy than the larger bulbs.

6. Speaking of lights...standard incandescent lights consume thousands of gigawatt hours each year. Avoid these energy hogs and switch to LED holiday lights, which will save you about one-fourth of that in just one season.

7. Cool it. Setting your water heater to "normal", or 120 degrees Fahrenheit, could save you over 10% in water heating costs.

8. Stay in control. Invest in a programmable thermostat, which will help moderate the temperature in your home while you're out on a shopping marathon or visiting Grandma's house. It is estimated that programmable thermostats can save you almost $200 in energy costs every year.

9. Follow the Star. Take advantage of Energy Star's "Home Energy Yardstick", where you can assess your current energy use and receive tips on how to enhance your home's energy efficiency, lower utility bills, and increase comfort. Learn more about how HWA supports eco-friendly Energy Star products here.

10. Go with the flow. A dirty air filter can slow air flow, putting more of a burden on your entire system. Replace your filter every month to save between 5 -10% on annual energy costs.

A Few More Ways To Save On That Energy Bill…Part II

by lheraty
Building Doorway with Lanterns Most people purchase window treatments, such as heavy drapes, blinds or shutters to complete the look they want to establish on the inside of their home. But curtains, drapes, blinds and shutters are also a wonderful investment that will help keep energy costs down, whether you are heating or cooling your home. Attic insulation is also one of the best ways a homeowner can reduce the amount of energy they are paying for in their home, whether it is for heating or cooling. Without proper insulation it will escape via the roof. Expect to pay between $500 and $700 to insulate a 2,000-square foot home. According to experts, insulation can save you up to 25% on heating and cooling costs. Don’t forget to seal air leaks in your home. By simply filling in gaps around your windows and doors and sealing ducts, you can save up to 20% on your heating and cooling bill. Last but not least, always replace or clean your air filters. By doing this small task each season you can save 7% in electricity costs per year.
Hand at the CalculatorInstalling low-flow shower heads and faucets not only reduces the amount of money you will spend on water, but they also reduce the amount of money that you will spend on the electricity or gas that heats your water. Most faucet aerators will cost you about two dollars, and most low-flow shower heads cost around thirty dollars. By using these devices you will be able to re-coup these costs within one year of use. Plus, many utility companies offer their customers rebates for using these devices. Since a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) will last six to twelve times longer and use up to 75% less energy than a regular bulb will, experts calculate that the purchase of one three dollar CFL will be re-payed in energy costs within three months of use. In less than one year, you can recover the cost of purchasing a lighting motion sensor. They cost about fifty dollars and one year is how long it will take to pay back the cost in energy bills in a very expensive state like New York, and as little as five months in a less expensive state, such as Nebraska.

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Contact Information

Photo of Cathy Russell Real Estate
Cathy Russell
The Russell Company
2522 Covington St.
West Lafayette IN 47906
(765) 426-7000
(765) 335-5588
Fax: (765) 497-1003