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Hate to say it but colder weather is just around the corner and that means your energy bill will probably go up. Even if you don't have electric heat you are inside more so lights will be on more than usual, so this is a good time to review your energy habits. 

You may want to take a nice long hot bath to warm up as the weather turns chilly, but it's best to limit the baths and opt for the shower.

The average bath requires 30 to 50 gallons of water — a major energy drain, especially when a four-minute shower with a low-flow head only uses about 10 gallons.

An occasional bath isn't going to skyrocket your utility bills, but if it becomes a must-have, expect your energy costs to be slightly higher than the average household. Just like running your dishwasher, the cost of taking a bath all boils down to water consumption and the energy it takes to heat the water.


Lets talk about that age-old debate -- hand-washing or the dishwasher. I have to tell you I always thought the dishwasher used more energy so I hand-washed. Wrong. After investigating, it's clear the dishwasher will save you on water and on your electric bill because it uses less water than hand-washing, on average. Maybe skip the heat-drying cycle to reduce electricity consumption.

So stack up the washer but wait until it is full to turn it on.

That electric oven can rack up the kilowatt hours if you are cooking in it every night but it's still cheaper then eating out. Some ways to conserve would be not to peek by opening up the oven to see if the food's done. Use your timer -- you lose about 25 degrees everytime you open the door.

You can save 20% of your oven-related energy costs by using a convection oven, which utilizes a fan to force the hot air around the oven. Not only does this mean shorter cooking times and lower temperatures, but your food will cook more evenly too. Keeping your oven sparkly clean will direct the heat at your food and not the burnt stuff caked to the bottom.

Freeze out

Your ice maker is melting your energy budget. Think twice about how much ice you really need and use. According to Energy Star, automatic ice machines work around the clock, constantly draining energy, and they can increase your refrigerator's energy use by 14% to 20%.

There should be a switch on the front of the ice maker to turn it off. Check your manual if you can't locate it. You can make ice the old-fashioned way in an ice tray or you can just use the ice maker when you know you will need cubes.

Not everyone can keep their refrigerator stuffed to the gills but it can actually help keep your energy bill down if it's filled. Every time you open the door warm air comes in, thus making the fridge work harder to stay cool. If there is a lot of space in it, it has to work a little harder to maintain the temp. 

You can also unplug appliances like a toaster or coffee maker until you need to use them. They can be draining energy for no reason. It's all about habits and how to change them; once you start working to save energy, you'll start seeing the savings.

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