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potlight installationMany people are concerned about the state of the earth and how they can help the "green" efforts. There are many things a single person can do to contribute, but to start one does not have to go too far. Any person from teachers to master electricians can provide insight regarding the green effort. This article addresses energy consumption tips a person can apply within their homes.

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Most may not realize how quickly the "little things" can add up in regards to energy consumption. For instance, how much power was used due to a room left lit throughout the entire workday? Are appliances left plugged in or on standby using more energy than previously thought? To start, one of the best tips to be provided is to become aware of the little things that can make a big impact:

- Turn off lights whenever possible. Take advantage of sources of natural sunlight within the home.

- Unplug appliances when not in use. Not only does it save energy, but is also extra precautionary in regards to electrical fires.

- Take advantage of the weather. Many of us get in the habit of keeping the home air and heat units on regardless of outside weather temperatures. Open windows and doors whenever possible to reduce energy consumption.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs)

On average compact fluorescent bulbs use about 75% less energy, produce 75% less heat, and last about 10 times longer in comparison to standard bulbs.

CFLs can be used indoors or outdoors. They can dramatically improve conservation outdoors because most leave outdoor lighting on overnight or most of the night via a timer. CFLs can be used in conjunction with protective fixtures to shield extreme temperatures and inclement weather.

CFLs are used in conjunction with timers, dimmers, motion detectors, and automatic daylight shutoff devices to conserve energy. Make sure to check particular products are compatible with using CFL bulbs.

Home Appliances

Home appliances can count for a good percentage of household's energy bill. Refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers, and dishwashers are big factors.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy lists the energy performance of top-rated energy- saving appliances on its web site: website
Be mindful of refrigerator temperatures. Recommended temperatures for refrigerators ranges from 35 to 40 degrees F; and, freezer temperatures can be set around 0 to 5 degrees F.

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