Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How To Save Money When Decorating Your Home

Money-Saving Tools and Tips


The lights and sights of the holiday season make everything merry and bright.

To help customers plan and manage their displays, Duke Energy offers a holiday lighting energy calculator that estimates holiday lighting costs: www.duke-energy.com/lightscalculator.

“An easy way to save money during the holidays is to estimate your energy costs before decorating to incorporate budget-friendly lighting options,” said Sasha Weintraub, Duke Energy senior vice president of customer solutions. “That way you can still dazzle your friends and neighbors with your holiday decorations and save energy and money.”

Users can identify the type of lights, the number of 100-bulb strands and how many hours the lights will be used per day to estimate the energy cost per day and per month. Based on their selections, customers can receive energy-efficient tips and options.

For example, six 100-bulb sets of large, incandescent bulbs (600 bulbs total) plugged in six hours every evening can add as much as $80 to a monthly power bill.

By comparison, six 100-bulb sets of similarly styled light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs would increase a monthly power bill by only about $7. Using six 100-bulb sets of mini-LED bulbs would increase a monthly power bill by only $1.

Other cold weather money-saving tips include:

§  Select the lowest comfortable setting when you’re home, then lower the temperature a degree or two when you leave.

§  Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.

§  Inefficient heating can also add to monthly power bills during colder temperatures. Regular service calls from a licensed technician will help to properly maintain your heating and cooling system.

§  The ceiling fan is a great way to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Simply set the fans to operate in a clockwise direction, which pushes warm air back down into the room.

§  On sunny days, leave your drapes or blinds open to allow the sun’s rays to warm the house.

§  Unplug energy vampires that use electricity even when powered off or in standby mode. Calculate usage costs for common energy vampires here: www.duke-energy.com/energyvampire.

§  Wear warm clothing for additional energy savings at home. If you’re planning a holiday party this season, consider an ugly sweater theme. That way, you can bump down the thermostat a degree or two while your guest stay toasty and warm.

Safety Tips

§  Before installing lights, check each set – new and old – for damaged sockets, loose connections and frayed or bare wires. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.

§  Never use more than three standard-sized sets of lights per extension cord.

§  Plug exterior lights into ground-fault interruptible (GFI) outlets only. If the home lacks outside GFI outlets, call an electrician to install them.

§  Before climbing a ladder, inspect it to ensure it’s in good working condition and follow the weight limits specified on the ladder. Ladders that lean against a wall or other support should be angled so the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is about one-quarter the working length of the ladder. Never use a ladder for any purpose other than the one for which it’s designed.

§  Never use a ladder on or near power lines.

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