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Want a More Energy-Efficient Home?

Home Improvement Experts Show You How

When trying to improve the energy efficiency of your home, a big consideration is the appliances you have.  Lou Manfredini, a Home Improvement Expert and TV personality, suggests you look for appliances with the Energy Star Label.

That label, found on washing machines, dishwashers, computers and stereo equipment, means that the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency have certified these products as energy efficient.

Because of recent improvements in insulation and compressors, the Energy Star website at www.energystar.com, says today’s refrigerators use much less energy than older models. An ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator can maximize your energy and dollar savings without sacrificing the features you want. You can help by minimizing the number of times you open your refrigerator and freezer doors. Energy Star also says a full refrigerator keeps its contents colder than an empty one. So, it’s better to be stocked up, rather than having bare refrigerator shelves. In a full refrigerator, the compressor turns on less often, than in a bare refrigerator. That means it’s more efficient. And, keep your refrigerator coils clean. It will work better.   Older appliances should also be replaced. In the case of refrigerators, you should be prepared to change out a ten-year-old refrigerator for bigger savings. And, don’t forget to recycle your old refrigerator. Be sure to check when recycled appliances are picked up in your area.

To circulate air more freely in your home, use ceiling fans.  And, if your ceiling fans have lights, make sure they are ENERGY STAR certified. Adding weather stripping around windows and doors will also help keep out the hot air, and in Hawaii, that’s our main concern.  If you have air conditioning, you should clean the outdoor components of your HVAC system. And, have a professional tune up your HVAC system.

Install a programmable thermostat.  There are many different brands, and they range in price from $40 to $100.  You can program your thermostat to adjust the temperature, while you’re at work or asleep, which can save you up to 30 percent on a well-insulated home.  EnergyStar.com says: When used properly, a programmable thermostat can help you save energy when you’re asleep or away from home. Use the thermostat’s pre-programmed energy-saving setpoints as a guide, setting the temperature back in the winter and up in the summer. Use the vacation setting to maintain energy-saving temperatures when you are gone for several days. Don’t run your heat or air conditioning when the windows are open. Turn your air conditioner up if a ceiling fan is keeping you cool enough. With proper use, programmable thermostats can save about $180 every year in energy costs. EnergyStar.gov also advises that you turn off fans and lights, because it costs almost 20 dollars a year to leave one light on for eight hours a day.  Also, make sure you turn off electronics while not in use.

If you need any further assistance, you can Atlas Construction at 951-9500.

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