MomTalk.com January 25, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Conserving Energy at Home

What can kids do? A lot!

Conserving energy in your home is easy and kids have an important role to play. Older kids understand that saving money frees up household money that you can then spend on the things they enjoy. And kids of all ages can understand that wasting energy isn't good for the environment - animals may suffer from pollution and when natural resources are used up. We only have one planet and we all can help take care of it.

Here are some simple ways kids of any age can help conserve energy:

• Turning off lights when no one needs them saves energy. The same is true for electronic games, the television, and other appliances.

• An open refrigerator door can waste lots of energy, so remind your kids why they should make it quick.

• Short showers or filling the bathtub only half full saves energy used to heat water.

• Kids can help keep the doors inside your home open to improve air circulation and the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.

• Kids can help spread the word by encouraging their friends to conserve, and working with their teachers and classmates to save energy at school.

Your kids can visit energyclassroom.com for educational resources to help them make wise choices that will assure a bright energy future for all of us. They'll find help for doing school papers and projects, experiments to try, videos on energy topics, and fun interactive games and puzzles.

When your kids see you taking steps to conserve energy at home, they are more likely to take conservation seriously. Here are some free or inexpensive ways you can conserve energy at home:

• Install a programmable thermostat and cut annual heating and cooling bills by as much as 10 percent per year by automatically turning your heating system up or down to coincide with your daily routine. Set your thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees during the winter, and at 60 degrees when away from the house for more than a few hours.

• By setting the water heater temperature at 120 degrees, families can save $18 annually without sacrificing comfort. Going on vacation? Turn your water heater down to the lowest setting. Before you go, have your kids leave a reminder note to turn the heater back up when you return.

• Dirty filters in your air conditioner or furnace reduce airflow, making your equipment work harder and use more energy. Replace your filters monthly during the heating or cooling season, and you could reduce costs by 5 percent.

• Install compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs where you can. Over the life of one CFL bulb you'll save approximately $25. Just a handful around the house, and you could notice a difference in your energy bills. They cost a bit more, but you'll change them less often, and they produce little or no heat.

Bigger changes can have a bigger impact on the environment and on your heating bill. But they often come with a bigger price tag. Money-saving programs, rebates and incentives are available in your area. Visit xcelenergy and click on Programs & Resources. There you'll find coupons, heating and cooling rebate offers and efficiency programs, such as a home energy audit for only $35!

Most families don't have the time or money to do it all, but there are ways to do what we can every day. We'll all benefit from a more energy-efficient world and a cleaner environment.

Categories: Family, Quick Features,

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