4 tips for a happy, energy-efficient home

(BPT) - Managing the household budget can be difficult. There are bills to pay, obligations to meet and if you’re fortunate enough to have all of your needs covered, you probably have a few wants you’d like to satisfy as well. All of this to say your money is a precious commodity and spending it on the things you love and the things that will make a difference in your life, and the world, is much more satisfying.

According to research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the United States wastes roughly 66 percent of the energy it produces and residential use carries a waste rate of almost 40 percent. That's money leaving your pocket for no reason. Paying for energy we used without ever enjoying it happens on a monthly basis, and this waste is larger than you may expect.

Curbing your energy waste offers two benefits: it eliminates needless energy use and saves your money for the things you’d rather spend it on.

It’s a win-win, and conserving your energy usage is easier than you think. Just follow these four tips to start saving now!

* Block your chimney. An unblocked fireplace means you’re losing money up the chimney — as much as hundreds of dollars a year. You can cap your chimney or, if you use it occasionally, you can block the draft with an inflatable chimney balloon. This can have a dramatic effect on your energy bill, as warm or cool air can no longer exit through your chimney, wasting your money.

* Upgrade to a smart thermostat. If you haven’t done this already, the resulting effect on your energy bill will be dramatic. Honeywell’s Lyric Round, Lyric T5 or any of their TCC thermostats can greatly reduce your energy bills by helping you control the temperature in your home and giving you other energy-saving tips. Depending on where you live, you may also qualify for incentives from your energy company just for upgrading. So check with your local utility company to learn more about the savings options once you smarten up your heating system. To learn more about smart thermostats from Honeywell, visit yourhome.honeywell.com.

* Slay the vampire electronics. Did you know that some of your electronics are still consuming power even when they are turned off? These so-called “vampire electronics” can be mitigated by using a power strip for all of those cords behind your TV. That way, when you’re not using them, you can simply unplug the power strip and no power will go to waste. You should also unplug any battery chargers when not in use to mitigate further waste.

* Find a tight seal. Inspect the connections where your vents and registers meet the floor, ceiling or walls to make sure the seal is tight. Air leaks or disconnections in the ductwork are commonly be found here. This is also a good time to make sure none of your vents are obstructed — by rugs, furniture or other sources — which jeopardize their air movement. Additionally, if your home uses radiator heat, place a heat-resistant reflector between your radiator and the wall to deflect the heat back into the room where it can be more useful.

Employ any of these tips and you'll see instant results in your next, lower energy bills. For best results, employ them all! It’s the best way to ensure your hard-earned money stays in your pocket and doesn't go to waste.

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