Conserve Energy, Save Money: Energy-Saving Tips for MD Residents (Part 1)

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In today’s economy, people are doing everything they can to save money : eating out less, buying generic foods and home goods, and bringing a lunch to work as opposed to buying, just to name a few. But one major strategy that most people overlook is saving money by making just a few small, simple changes in your home. With Maryland playing host to scorching hot summers and freezing cold winters, seasonal energy conservation techniques are key. Check out these in home money-saving techniques  to make your home more energy efficient.
1. Lighting
Regardless of the status of the economy, it is always a good idea to turn off lights when you leave a room. It not only saves energy, but it increases the life of the bulb. With BGE prices on the rise, it’s become almost imperative to be conscious of turning lights of. Replacing a single incandescent bulb with an energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) can save up to $50 over the bulb’s lifetime. Replacing all bulbs with CFLs can save up to 75% in lighting costs. In addition, these bulbs last ten times longer than standard incandescent bulbs, but only use a quarter of the energy.
2. Windows/Heating
Windows can play a large role in the temperature of your house. With Maryland’s colder months right around the corner, take into consideration that up to 15% of your heat can escape through unprotected windows. Close your drapes at night or install insulating shutters to retain heat. For glass windows and doors that do not receive direct sun light, keep the drapes/shades closed as much as possible. Also, make sure to seal and insulate any air leaks that could be letting heat out and cold in.
3. Cooling
Air conditioning is one of the largest contribution factors to your energy bill. During the hot months, use fans as much as possible. At night, a running fan combined with open windows can help circulate the cool night air, but make sure to close them during the day. Make sure to check your furnace and AC filters regularly. Cleaning or replacing filters once a month during periods of high use will insure proper air flow, promote better health, increase efficiency, and best of all, save money. Also, if you thermostat is programmable, take full advantage of its features. You can reduce overall energy usage while at work, vacation, running errands, etc.

Follow these tips for a sure way to save money!