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Fast Ways to Stop Energy Drains

Just because the temperatures are soaring doesn't mean your energy bills should. Here are some handy tips on how to curb your energy use.

Install a ceiling fan. Yes, it's old school, but a well-placed ceiling fan creates a "wind-chill effect" that lets you raise the thermostat four degrees without a drop in your comfort level. Find out where to install your fan and how big you need to go to make a difference here.

Change your air filter. A dirty filter makes your air conditioner work harder. And the simple act of replacing it can lower your system's energy consumption by up to 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Change the filter at least every three months, but check it monthly. If it looks dirty, swap it out.

Switch out your bulbs. Those pear-shaped bulbs are costing you money. But replacing the five most-used incandescents in your house can save you US$75 a year if you pick Energy Star-rated alternatives. Here's a guide to your choices.

Stop energy drains. Your house is full of electronics that still consume energy even when they're not in use. How to curb these "energy vampires"? Unplug phone chargers when they're not in use. Set computers to sleep mode. Plug in groups of electronics (like your TV, game console and cable box) into a power strip that you can turn off, or go with a smart power strip that monitors use and does the job for you.

These are all relatively simple measures that can pay you back with cool savings throughout the entire year.

Reprint from American Nationwide Mortgage Company Inc.

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