Rosemary Papp

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Most people carefully watch their time and money, making sure neither is wasted on unnecessary activities or expenses. In an effort to be more green and economical, why not also consider how your home's energy is used and how to prevent it, too, from being wasted? Follow these energy-saving tips from Sally Morse, director of creative services for window treatment manufacturer Hunter Douglas, to conserve your home's resources and your pocketbook as well:
 

1. Insulate common energy-loss areas
  • The fastest and most cost-effective way to reduce energy dollars is to seal air leaks. Find these energy vacuums by holding a lit incense stick on a breezy day near doors, fixtures, and windows. If the smoke travels toward the areas rather than vertically, you've found a leak. Once identified, simply seal holes by using caulk, spray foam, or weather strips. Also, be sure to remove air-conditioning units in the fall and winter or use an insulated jacket on the exterior, as these appliances invite drafts.

2. Watch the windows

  • Windows can account for up to 25 percent of utility bills by leaking heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. To help prevent this, and for a functional and fashionable addition to the home, opt for highly energy-efficient Duette Architella honeycomb shades, which feature an insulating 'honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb' design that traps air. Certain Duette Architella shades can reduce heat loss through windows by up to 40 percent in winter and solar heat gain through windows by up to 80 percent in the summer. New Duette Architella Trielle honeycomb shades provide similar light transmission as original shades, but with 20 percent more energy efficiency. They add an additional cell within a honeycomb cell, creating five separate air pockets for insulation. All are manufactured by Hunter Douglas.

3. All-star accessories and appliances

  • When purchasing items that consume energy – everything from light bulbs to appliances – look for the Energy Star label. This label ensures you are purchasing an item that will help save money and help protect the environment.

4. Clean and green

  • Being clean can go a long way when it comes to your home's energy efficiency. By simply keeping certain appliances in the best working condition, you can save on energy costs. Start by servicing and cleaning your gas or oil furnace at least once a year and change or clear out furnace filters once a month during the heating season.  Wipe or replace filters on air conditioners monthly or as recommended and do the same with warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed. Also, clean the lint screen in the laundry dryer after every load to increase air circulation and help prevent fire hazards.

5. Adjust when away and by time of day

  • If you're not at home, cut down on utility bills by investing in a programmable thermostat that lets you set temperatures by time of day. And, to adjust your motorized window coverings Hunter Douglas has created a free Platinum App that allows you to precisely position a single window treatment, or position all of the window treatments in one room, or even all of them in the home for optimal privacy, security, energy management and mood. 

Follow these simple tips and you'll be doing more than saving on utility bills. You'll be increasing the interior comfort and convenience of your home while helping to conserve the earth's precious resources.

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