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Cool ways to reduce home energy costs

Cool ways to reduce home energy costs

(NAPS)-If the expense of heating and cooling your house has you hot under the collar, heeding a few hints may help.
* Landscape: Plant trees and shrubs as windbreaks around your house.
* Program the temperature: Use a programmable thermostat to turn heat or air-conditioning down when you're asleep or away and up when you need it.
* Get bright about light: Use CFL or LED lights instead of incandescent ones. They use less energy and last longer.
* Look into new windows: Replace old windows with new, high-performance models that seal comfort in.
* Insulate: Keep windows and doors properly sealed and caulked. Make sure you have enough insulation in the walls and attic.
* Check for an ENERGY STAR label: This is especially important when choosing a refrigerator, the appliance that is the biggest user of energy in your home.
After your heating and cooling systems, your swimming pool is usually the second-largest energy drain on your home.
* Pump up pool savings: One way to pump up the savings is to switch to a variable-speed pump, like Pentair Water Pool and Spa's IntelliFlo(r). With typical annual utility savings of $620 to $1,360, the new pump will quickly pay for itself. Plus, many local utility companies are offering rebates from $50 to $1,000 to make the switch.
* Seal in the energy: Reduce heat loss by using a pool cover. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, savings of 50 to 70 percent are possible. Fencing, hedges, landscaping and cabanas that shelter your pool from prevailing winds will further reduce heat loss.
* High-efficiency heaters are hot: If a gas pool heater is more than five years old, an upgrade to a heater that meets today's stricter minimum energy requirements could quickly pay for itself. A better option in many climates is an air source heat pump, which can deliver savings of up to 80 percent over conventional heaters. Geothermal heat exchangers and solar heating systems may also lower pool heating costs.
* Go automatic: Automatic pool control systems not only make pool ownership more convenient, they also save energy. They allow owners to access their pool equipment from practically anywhere...anytime...with push-button simplicity while also scheduling equipment run times for heating, lighting, spa jets, water features and more, to maximize energy savings.
* Turn it down when you're not around: If you use your pool only on weekends, reduce your heater or heat pump thermostat settings by eight to 10 degrees during the week. Remember to turn it down when you go on vacation, too.
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