Page 22 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • March 18, 2009 Home Improvement & Gardening Expert advice on energy saving tips for the home (ARA) - What if you could easily save money and help the environment at the same time? You can. All it takes is a little expert advice on how to make your home more energy efficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average family spends $1,900 a year on utility bills. Unfortunately, much of that money is being wasted on inefficient heating and cooling systems, or excess use of appliances, according to Greg Schuman, electrician program chair at Everest Institute in San Bernardino, California. Schuman advises homeowners to break their houses down into different systems of energy use, including heating, cooling, water heating, lighting, computers and electronics, appliances and refrigeration. Once you break down your energy spending into different components, you can look for ways to maximize your energy consumption in each area. Start with heating and cooling. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the costs of heating and cooling make up 46 percent of a family’s monthly utility bill. Schuman suggests you be conscious of the temperature at which you set your thermostat. Try to set your thermostat as high as is comfortable in summer and as low as is comfortable in winter. Schuman also recommends you buy timed thermostats that can be programmed to use less energy when you are at work during the day and asleep at night. Schuman says homeowners should take advantage of the sun’s natural heating. In winter months, you want to take advantage of the sun’s heat. Open the curtains on southern and western facing windows to let in as much light as possible and make sure to keep windows as clean as possible. Depending on the size of the windows, the sun can really help heat up a room. In summer, Schuman advises keeping shades down and draperies closed to prevent the sun from entering. Lighting is another relatively easy way to save energy. On average, fluorescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy, produce 75 percent less heat and can last up to 10 times as long as regular light bulbs, so they more than make up for the initial expense. When shopping for new appliances, Thad Becker, electrician program instructor at Everest Institute in San Bernardino, California, says to always think of both the immediate price tag and the long-term operating cost. With refrigerators, top freezers are more efficient than side-by-side units. You also want to look for a fridge with automatic moisture control. Even if you aren’t in the market for a new refrigerator anytime soon, Becker says to make sure to cover liquids and food items to prevent moisture from accumulating in the fridge, which makes the fridge work harder. The stovetop and oven are more expensive to use than a microwave or toaster oven. Laundering clothes differently also saves money. More than 90 percent of the cost of doing laundry comes from heating the water, so Becker suggests washing clothes in cold water whenever possible and making sure to fill loads completely before running them. He also advises not to overdry clothes and, when possible, to air-dry your clothes. If you are willing to spend a little money, check your insulation. Adding insulation to your attic floor, basement, or crawl spaces is relatively easy and can prevent major heat loss in the winter. Spring Landscape Maintenance Services ~ Since 1978 ~ ���������������������� ����������� �������������������� ���� ������������������������� �������������������� ������������������� ��������� ���������� ����������������������� ��������������������� Design Center 201-891-1199 LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE SERVICES 413 Godwin Ave. • Midland Park, NJ Landscape Gallery 201-825-4440 11 Barnstable Ct. • Saddle River, NJ ���������������������������� 3-11-09----JacobsenMaintenance3x3col x 4” Pat for PROOF... from Janine CLEAN CHOICE LANDSCAPE YOUR #1 CHOICE FOR ALL YOUR EXTERIOR HOME, BUSINESS AND GARDEN MAINTENANCE NEEDS. – COMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS – Seasonal Clean Ups Weekly Lawn Maintenance Plantings and Design Mulch • • • • Installed 2000 / Picture taken 2007. Our quality work only gets better with age. Offering: • Power Washing • Gutter Cleaning • Snow Plowing ������ ���������������������������������������� Visit Our New Garden Center! Since 1982 we have served our clients faithfully in all aspects of landscaping and maintenance services. We will be there for you when you call. Clean Choice is on the Job! Rest Easy! 11 PATERSON AVE. SUITE 16, MIDLAND PARK, NJ NJHIC License #13VHO3311000 201-447-3910 ������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� ���������������������� FLEXIBLE PAYMENT PLANS Any Size Job With This Ad New Customers Only. 10% OFF Call for a full evaluation and price quote. 201-560-0008