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Some easy things to remember on this "Cut Your Energy Costs" Day

Some helpful advice from previous We Energy blogs...

Looking for inexpensive and easy ways to keep your home comfortable this winter? Manage your energy costs and save money by using energy more efficiently with these tips:

Leave your thermostat’s fan switch on “auto” so the fan only runs when the furnace runs. Setting the fan to “on” will cause it to run all the time, whether or not heating is needed.

Adjust your thermostat when you are asleep or away from home. You can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating by simply lowering your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees F from its normal setting for 8 hours a day. Recommended thermostat settings when you are home are 68 degrees F in winter.

Seasonal maintenance keeps equipment running safely and efficiently, which will save you money in the long run. Replacing your filter can help extend the life of your HVAC unit, improve air quality in your home and keep your energy costs down.

Use shades, blinds and drapes to help while heating your home. Open them to let the sun’s natural heat warm your home. This not only helps you cut back on heating bills but also saves money on your lighting bills. Make it a habit.

In the kitchen & utility room...

Match pots and pans to burners. Using a small pan or pot on a bigger burner can waste more than 40 percent of the heat being produced. Using the smallest pot or pan possible on the proper sized burner not only takes less time to heat but also uses heat more efficiently.

Use sturdy cookware. Cookware with warped bottoms can take up to 50 percent more energy.

Thaw and chop. Two simple ways of reducing cooking time (and energy use) is to completely thaw your food before cooking and to chop vegetables and other food into smaller pieces. Turn on appliances after preparation is completed.

Cooking

Keep oven door shut. Rather than opening the door, use the oven light. Opening the door can drop the temperature 25 degrees, adding cooking time and energy use to get the heat back to the set temperature.

Use small appliances. Crockpots or toaster ovens use energy better than conventional ovens for smaller dishes or meals.

Cool down. Allow leftovers to cool before refrigerating to reduce the appliance’s work.

Unplug. Most small appliances, such as toaster ovens and coffee makers, consume a small amount of energy even if turned off. When possible, unplug.

Cleanup

Oven and microwave. Food spills and food waste absorb heat, adding to cooking time, so keep the inside clean.

Dishwashers. Fully load your dishwasher because it uses the same amount of energy whether full or not. Avoid rinsing dishes before loading. Most dishwashers can handle crusted food.

Washing machines. Use settings based on laundry load size to make more efficient use of both energy and water. Most detergents work well in cold water.

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