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Tips on curbing energy use

WASHINGTON—The Department of Energy and the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy offer these tips on curbing energy use and saving money at home.

No Cost:

_Turn off appliances and electronics when not in use.

_Wash clothes in cold water. Heating water accounts for about 16 percent of home energy bill.

_Take showers of five minutes or less.

_Set water heater temperature at 120 Fahrenheit or less.

Low Cost:

_Install low-flow showerheads and sink aerators to reduce hot-water use.

_Insulate water tanks with a wrap, about $20, to hold heat inside. Add pre-cut pipe insulation to exposed pipes.

_Seal ductwork with mastic, not duct tape, to ensure improved heating system efficiency.

_Install double-pane storm windows. A lower-cost alternative is to apply plastic sheeting on the inside of windows to reduce heat loss.


_Drive under 65 mph, 55 mph where possible.

_Ensure tires are filled to their recommended levels.

_Avoid fast starts.

_Get a tune-up.

_Change air and fuel filters.


For more tips, go to

Source: Department of Energy, Alliance to Save Energy


(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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