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Reducing your carbon footprint and “going green” are big buzzwords these days. Winter heating costs have risen over the past few years and it’s more important than ever to reduce energy consumption. Here are a few low-cost and no-cost tips to help Big Bear home owners reduce their carbon footprint and save money at the same time.

Use The Heat Of The Sun

Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.

Cover Drafty Windows

Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce air leaks. Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes and shades on windows that feel drafty after you winterize.

Adjust the Temperature

When you are home and awake, set your thermostat to a low but comfortable temperature. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10°–15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature. Learn how to operate your thermostat for maximum energy savings.

Find and Seal Leaks

Seal the air leaks around utility pipes, gaps around chimneys, recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Add caulking or weather-stripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows.

Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace

Keep your damper closed when you’re not using the fireplace. Leaving the damper open allows warm air to go right up the chimney. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue. If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warm air back into the room.

Other tips include replacing your heater filters regularly, turning down your water heater to the warm setting (120 degrees), and replacing old single-pane windows. Be sure to contact your utility providers for more information on saving energy and money during the winter months. The planet will thank you.

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