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2023 Preparedness - Wednesday Wisdom: Week 16

April 19th It’s time to save on our energy bills. I recently heard someone complain about the cost of their energy bill. It was $300 for electric, gas, water, and trash pickup. I thought that was super cheap, but I just moved from California. I asked a friend in California with a home the same square footage how much their utility bill was, it was over $300 for just the electricity. Financial pressure caused by utilities will vary greatly but no matter the percentage of your budget it takes saving is always a good idea. Open and Close Window Coverings: During the winter months, open window coverings during the day to let in the heat of the sun. During the summer close them as soon as the sun begins to shine in. In winter, close them at dusk, and in summer, open them at dusk. Turn Down the Temperature on the Water Heater: Turning down the temperature will not only save money but will also be safer as there will be less chance of the young or elderly getting burned. Insulate Your Water Heater: An insulation blanket is inexpensive, easy to install, and will pay for itself in a short time - saving you up to 10 % on the cost. With the cost of natural gas and propane skyrocketing, now is the time to take this step. Check with your local utility company as many provide a credit for installing energy-saving items. Install a Timer on your Water Heater: As with a water heater blanket, this can save you additional money by turning off the system while you are sleeping or away.

Put Timers on the Heater and Air Conditioner: There is no reason to heat or cool a home after you leave for the day. It is much cheaper to buy an extra blanket than to heat the house all night. Too often we forget to turn down the heat or turn off the air conditioner when we are headed to bed at the end of a long day. This can save up to 35 % on your heating and air conditioning bills. Programmable thermostats will pay for themselves quickly.

Close the Doors: Keep the doors to rooms closed. Keep the heat in the room. Why heat the hallways? My office stays nice and warm when I keep the door closed because the computer generates heat. This allows me to keep the thermostat turned down. I am always amazed at the difference in temperature when I open the door to leave the room.

Mylar Blankets: Place Mylar blankets in windows and on sliding doors during the summer, on any receiving direct sunlight. With thinner ones, you will still be able to see out, but your cooling costs will be greatly reduced.

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