Help­ful house­hold tips to start the New Year off right

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

The New Year means cre­at­ing res­o­lu­tions for a fresh start to the year ahead. Go­ing green is a pop­u­lar res­o­lu­tion as it’s a great way to save money and help the en­vi­ron­ment by re­duc­ing waste. It can be ac­com­plished rel­a­tively quickly with im­me­di­ate re­sults that will last for years. Re­mem­ber that go­ing green doesn’t need to put you in the red.

An im­por­tant and easy first-step is re­search­ing sim­ple tips and so­lu­tions around the house that match your needs and bud­get. Some sim­ple tips in­clude: In­su­late your pipes for the cold win­ter months to con­serve en­ergy and re­duce heat loss to help save money. Also in­su­late drafty win­dows us­ing win­dow in­su­la­tion film and rub­ber weather seal­ing to pre­vent heat loss and cold air com­ing into your home. Even hav­ing heav­ier cur­tains is an ef­fec­tive way to keep cold air out. Tak­ing shorter show­ers is the best way to re­duce waste­ful wa­ter con­sump­tion. Also con­sider wash­ing your clothes in cold wa­ter, and run­ning full loads when do­ing laun­dry. Sim­i­larly, run your dish­washer dishes us­ing full loads and use a lower wa­ter tem­per­a­ture if rins­ing dishes be­fore­hand.

For the colder months, open your blinds or shades to heat up your home nat­u­rally, and use an au­to­matic ther­mo­stat to re­duce the tem­per­a­ture of your home when you aren’t there. In the sum­mer, close your blinds dur­ing the day to keep your home cool.

For those who are look­ing for pre­mium up­grades around the home, pur­chas­ing green ap­pli­ances such as an en­ergy ef­fi­cient washer and dryer or fridge can help off­set ex­cess en­ergy con­sump­tion.

If rent­ing a wa­ter heater, En­erCare Inc., a lead­ing provider of en­ergy ef­fi­cient prod­ucts, in­clud­ing wa­ter heater rentals, re­minds con­sumers to take time to re­view the ben­e­fits of new prod­ucts, and never sign any­thing at the door when ap­proached by a door-to-door wa­ter heater sales­per­son.

“Prom­ises of sav­ings and ef­fi­ciency made by door-to-door wa­ter heater sales­peo­ple can be mis­lead­ing, but con­sumers can pro­tect them­selves by be­ing bet­ter aware of high pres­sure sales tac­tics used by sales­peo­ple. Re­mem­ber to take the time to re­view a wa­ter heater con­tract be­fore sign­ing, and that you are never obliged to sign any­thing at the door,” said John Mac­Don­ald, CEO of En­erCare Inc.

Re­gard­less of the steps you take, if tak­ing the right pre­cau­tions and choos­ing the right so­lu­tions for your home, go­ing green in 2014 has never been eas­ier, ef­fec­tive or af­ford­able.

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