November 3, 2008

Keep The Heat Down

It's that time of year when the weather starts to get cooler, the long sleeves and pants come out, and the thermostat needs to be turned on.

The mere thought of the heating bills in the upcoming months make most of us cringe. The department of Energy says that most households use 50 to 70% of their energy on heating and cooling their homes.

What can you do about it?

Installing a programmable thermostat can lower your yearly costs around $150.00.

When the weather is cold, for every degree you lower the thermostat, you can save 1-3% on your heating bill. This is especially important at night. Turning it down to 65 degrees for 8 hours can save you 10% on your annual heating costs. My family goes even lower, and then we use an electric blanket.

If you are not home during the day, set the thermostat low then as well. Only have it higher when you are home and awake. Keeping your blinds open to let the sun in to warm your home works great, too.

A programmable thermostat will also help you avert around 1,800 pounds of CO2 per year.

Porcelain and Tile Cleaner

You can clean regularly and still find stains, grease streaks, and mildew around your home. A few non-toxic ingredients and a little elbow grease will do the job for you.

Sprinkle a little baking soda on the surfaces, then scrub them with a moist cloth. For stubborn grime, add some kosher salt to the mix.

A few minutes soaking in some vinegar or lemon juice before a good brushing works great for these surfaces, too.