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4/19/2012 - Reduce electric bills by performing an energy audit

Fixing poor seals on windows can save energy.

As any renter or homeowner has discovered, utility expenses can be a drain on a monthly budget, as it seems that most everyday functions require some type of electricity source. While limiting electricity usage can help decrease costs, an energy audit can as well.

With Earth Day approaching on April 22, the U.S. Department of Energy offers some suggestions for how to stop wasting electricity.

One of the best ways of doing this is locating where air leaks are in a home. Window frames may be an obvious place to look, but air can also leak out from electrical outlets, switch plates, baseboards, fireplace dampers and wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.

Seal these cracks with caulk or weather stripping to save energy. Window-mounted air conditioners may need to be replaced with a unit that is a better fit for the window.

Another way to decrease energy usage is by using energy-efficient light bulbs, the DOE indicates. Consider compact fluorescent bulbs for lamps rather than incandescent ones. The energy saved can shave 10% off an electric bill each month.

For more suggestions on how to reduce one's carbon footprint and save money at the same time, click here.

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