Energy Saving Ideas

Make your house more of an energy mizer instead of a guzzler when the hot weather hits. You don’t have to buy an expensive new heating and cooling unit or replace all the windows. Granted, those are two ways to lower cooling costs, but there are some simple no-cost changes you can make to the way you live. From our discussions with homeowners there’s more than one way to keep an air conditioning unit working as little as possible while maintaining a comfortable climate inside. Here’s our takeaways from what we learned. It’s not so much about being thrifty as it is about being thoughtful and replacing old habits with new ones.
• Operate heat generating appliances like a dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer in the evening when energy costs are lower instead of during peak time. Instead of using an oven to prepare dinner cook outside on a grill.
• Change the filters in a cooling system once a month so it operates efficiently.
• Move furniture off of and away from floor ducts so it doesn’t block the flow of cool air coming from a cooling unit.
• Close doors to seldom used rooms so you don’t pay to cool an unused room.
• If you have a fireplace, close the damper to prevent cool air from escaping.
• Turn off computers and electronics or use the “sleep feature” when they’re not in use.

For more energy saving ideas visit us at where you’ll also find the cost of hundreds of home improvement projects. On your smart phone go to


Gene and Katie Hamilton are authors of 20 home improvement books and creators of, a website that compares the DIY and contractor costs of hundreds of repair, decorating and remodeling projects. Their weekly column Do It Yourself or Not is syndicated by Tribune Content Agency.
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