Tips for saving energy

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- Wrap a water-heater blanket around your water heater and insulate water pipes. This will keep your hot water hot and will also add up to big savings as it takes about 14 percent of your overall utility bill to provide hot water.
- Check your attic. Since warm air rises, you want to be sure it is adequately insulated. You'll know it needs more insulation if you can see your ceiling joists.
- Bundle up! Lower the temperature in your home and put on an extra layer of clothing. You save about 2 percent off your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat.

Minimize heat loss:
- Seal leaks around doors, windows and electrical outlets to ensure that your warm air is staying in and the cool air is keeping out.
- Install foam gaskets behind electrical outlets, light switches and lighting fixtures to reduce heat loss, or install plastic security caps.
- For those with single-pane windows, add storm windows and slice your heat loss by as much as 50 percent.

Save in the kitchen:
- Use glass or ceramic pans when cooking in an oven. Your food cooks just as quickly and you can reduce the cooking temperature by 25 degrees.
- Make sure your refrigerator door closes tightly. To check, put a dollar bill in the door as you close it. If it doesn't hold securely, replace the seal.
- Compost instead of using the garbage disposal and save gallons of water and money.

Contributed by: Karen D. Jones, Extension Agent - Haywood County

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