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Making your home more energy efficient with these 8 simple tips can help to reduce high energy bills, improve comfort and help to protect the environment by conserving natural resources. Improving energy efficiency is also an important first step for homeowners interested in "Green Building and Remodeling.”

  1. Furnace: If you’re planning to purchase a new natural gas furnace, choose an ENERGY STAR® model with an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 90% - 94%. Take advantage of rebates on qualified models.
  1. Insulation: Increase your home’s efficiency by installing R-30 attic insulation and R-13 wall insulation. You’ll save up to 25% on your heating costs.
  1. Thermostat: Lower your furnace thermostat 3-5 degrees (health permitting) when you’re home. Turn the furnace off when you leave. This action can help you save up to 20% on heating costs.
  1. Air Ducts: Have your air ducts tested for leaks. Seal any leaks and save about 5 - 20% on your heating costs.
  1. Dishwasher: Install a qualified higher efficiency dishwasher with an Energy Factor (EF) of .62 or greater (and check for rebates). Additional rebates may be available through your water utility. And, by using a high efficiency ENERGY STAR® dishwasher instead of hand washing, you can save about $5 monthly on your energy and water bills.
  1. Clothes Washer: Consider purchasing an energy efficient clothes washer. These models use up to 35-50% less water and up to 50% less energy per load. Choose a model with a Modified Energy Factor (MEF) of 1.60 or greater; and a Water Factor (WF) of 8.5 or lower.
  1. Water Heater: If you’re purchasing a new water heater, choose an energy-efficient natural gas model with an “Energy Factor” (EF) rating of .62 or higher. These high efficiency models may qualify for a rebate. A 40 gallon model with a .62 EF can save about $2 monthly (or 10%) on winter water heating costs.
  1. Shower: Showers can account for over 50% of your hot water usage! Take shorter, cooler showers and save about $4/month.

The actual energy savings obtained in each instance depends on various factors, including location, weather conditions, equipment installed, usage rates, and so forth. Completing multiple energy saving measures will not necessarily result in cumulative savings.