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Save Energy For Thanksgiving

Don’t be a turkey and waste energy at Thanksgiving. Here are 9 ways to save energy on turkey day without sacrificing any comforts of the season.

A Few Days Before Thanksgiving

Install a dimmer switch to save energy1. Install a dimmer switch for the dining room chandelier. Every time you dim a bulb’s brightness by 10%, you’ll double the bulb’s lifespan. Keep in mind, most CFLs don’t work with dimmers, but you can create mood lighting with incandescents and LEDs. The dimmer switch will cost you about $10 to $15. Be sure to turn off the breaker to your chandelier before replacing any switches!

2. Plan side dishes that can cook simultaneously with the turkey. If you cook dishes at the same temperature at the same time, you’ll reduce the amount of time the oven has to be running — it’s easier for the cook and will save energy, too.

When You Start Cooking

3. Lower your house thermostat a few degrees. The oven will keep the house warm. If you have ceiling fans, turn them on in reverse (blowing up to the ceiling) so it sucks air up, distributing heat throughout the room, thus helping you to save energy.

4. Use ceramic or glass pans — you can turn down the oven’s temperature by up to 25 degrees and get the same results. That’s because these materials retain heat so well, they’ll continue cooking your food for a while even after being taken out of the oven.

5. Use your oven’s convection feature if you have that type of oven. When heated air is circulated around the food, it reduces the required temperature and cooking time. You’ll cut your energy use by about 20%.

6. Cook in the microwave whenever possible. Ditto slow cookers. Microwaves get the job done quickly, and although slow cookers take much longer, they still use less energy than the oven. Resist the urge to peek inside your slow cooker: Each time you remove the lid, it releases heat and can add about 25 minutes of cooking time to your dish.

7. Use lids on pots to retain heat. The food you’re cooking on the stovetop will heat up faster when you use lids.

When It’s Cleanup Time

8. Scrape plates instead of rinsing with hot water. Unless food is really caked on there, your dishwasher should get the dishes clean without a pre-rinse. Compost your non-meat food waste.

9. Use your dishwasher. It will save energy and water, so only hand-wash things that aren’t dishwasher-safe. Wait until you’ve got a full load before starting the dishwasher. Try stopping the dishwasher before the heated dry cycle; just open the door and let your dishes air-dry. Many dishwashers today will let you turn off the heated dry cycle when you start the washer, in case you forget to do it when the dishwaster is finished washing.

Keep these tips in mind while you enjoy your upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and save energy while you do so!

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Winterize Your Myrtle Beach Home – Save on Heating Costs

Tips to Winterize Your HomeWith temperatures falling and meteorologists predicting a colder than normal winter, the easiest and most cost efficient way to keep your home’s heat inside, while keeping your heating bill respectable, is to add fresh insulation to your attic, ceilings, basement, and walls.  Mark Wolf (of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association) states that these do-it-yourself home upgrades could cause instant energy savings between 10 and 20%.

Here is a list of four cheap and easy tweaks to seal up and insulate your home that will surely lower your heating bill this winter.

  • Update Your Thermostat– Cost $80, Yearly savings $200+According to Consumer Reports, a memory management thermostat unit can cut 20% from your heating and cooling bill. You can program the thermostat unit to save heat while you sleep and wake up to a warm and toasty home in the morning by upgrading to a programmable thermostat.

 

  • Weatherize your Doors and Windows– Cost $100, Yearly savings $200+This is an important, yet easy step to insulating your home. First, apply water-based acrylic caulk to seal small leaks around doors and windows.  Second apply weather stripping to your doorframes to seal air leaks around movable joints. Last, apply shrink film to old windows, single-pane windows, or unused openings (like a small pet door) to keep cold air out and warm air inside.

 

  • Insulate Water Heater (Pipes)– Cost $30, Yearly savings $200Exposed hot water pipes can lower water temperature at the tap by as many as four degrees. Insulating these exposed pipes on your water heater with fiberglass or foam sleeves costs less than $30 in most cases and can save you five times that amount yearly (via heating bill).  An insulating blanket for the tank of your water heater costs $20  but will save you nearly 9% on your heating bill.

 

  • Cover Wall Openings– Cost $50, Yearly savings $150Spray insulating foam sealant around the holes for outdoor faucets, wiring, and outlets. Nearly 15% of air leakage manifests at wall openings.  Foam sealant will keep the cold air from entering through these small openings.

Inflation is elevating the cost of living in many facets of life, but a lower heating and cooling bill can be obtained through the methods listed above.  Insulate your home properly and beat the winter chill with lower heating bills.

Federal energy tax credits were eliminated on December 31st of last year, meaning, home improvements on insulation can no longer qualify for the $1,500 tax credit.

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