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Energy-saving tips

September 25, 2005

The cost of heating our homes is expected to increase this winter, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The following are some tips residents may use to help reduce those costs.

The Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs recommends residents and homeowners do the following:

· Set thermostats to 70 degrees or lower during the day and to 65 at night.

· Close doors and windows to rooms in the house that are not used often.

· Close window shades and curtains at night.

· Plug holes and cracks in walls and windows.

· Insulate homes' attics, outer walls and basements.

· Wrap water pipes to help keep hot water hot.

· Shut the outside vents of fireplaces and close the flue damper.

· Cover the inside of windows tightly with plastic.

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· Replace furnace filters twice during the winter.

· Repair all leaking faucets.

· Set water heaters to low or warm.

· Turn off lights in rooms not being used.

· Clean the refrigerator coils of dust.

· Minimize the times the refrigerator door is opened.

Additional tips may be found at the Home Energy Programs Web site at www.dhr.state.md.us/how/ energy/link.htm or the U.S. Department of Energy's Web site at www.eere.energy.gov/consumerinfo.

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