Tips on Saving Dollars on Energy in Your Home

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A typical U.S. family spends more than $1,600 a year on home utility bills, yet making some simple changes around the home can save money and make heating and cooling systems more efficient, according to World Energy Solutions, a publicly traded energy services company based in St. Petersburg, Fla.

By evaluating facilities and equipment, World Energy Solutions (symbol: WEGY) helps businesses lower their utility consumption and maintenance costs and extend the life of their equipment.

"Many of the energy-saving strategies we use for our commercial customers can also be applied to the home," says Benjamin Croxton, chief executive officer of World Energy Solutions. "There are many common-sense, low-cost and no-cost ways to lower your home energy use as well as many new technologies that can be applied to your home's energy-consuming systems."

Here are some tips from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy on things homeowners can do to make their homes more energy efficient:

* Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting.

* Use energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers.

* Use compact fluorescent bulbs, which can save three-quarters of the electricity used by incandescents. First to be replaced should be any 60-watt to 100-watt bulbs that are used several hours a day.

* Have your heating and cooling systems serviced in the fall and spring. Duct sealing can also improve the energy efficiency and overall performance of your furnace or central air conditioner.

* Clean or replace furnace, air conditioner and heat-pump filters.

* Assess your heating and cooling systems to determine if you should replace or retrofit them to make them work more efficiently to provide the same comfort, or better, with less energy.

"If your home's central air-conditioning system is over 10 years old, a new state-of-the-art system can save you 30 percent or more of your home's air-conditioning expense," says George Walker, air-conditioning expert with World Energy Solutions.