Energy-Saving Tricks and Treats

By Brittney Gordon

For many, Halloween is one of the best holidays of the year. From the endless bags of candy to the costumes, it is the one night where adults and kids alike can pretend to be anyone they want to be, and have a lot of fun doing it. For weeks friends have asked me what I am going to dress up as, but to tell you the truth I haven’t the foggiest idea. I am kind of last minute when it comes to this holiday (okay, all holidays) and I will probably run to the costume store just in time to get the scraps leftover by the more time serious Halloween shoppers.

While I may be slow when it comes to picking out a costume, I am focused on being right on time when it comes to the energy efficient things I can do in my home this Halloween. Below is a simple list of things we can all do to save energy and protect the environment before and after we go trick-or-treating.

Trick for heat: When is the last time you checked your heating system’s air filter? You should do it every month and change it every three months. While you are at it, this is a great time to have a qualified professional tune up your system with a pre-season maintenance checkup. If it’s time to replace your system, look for the ENERGY STAR.

Protect Yourself from Vampires: No, I am not talking about the latest “Twilight” movie. Instead I am referring to “vampire power” or standby power. It is the electric power consumed by electronics and appliances while they are switched off or in a standby mode. ENERGY STAR qualified models use a lot less energy in standby mode. Looking for an easy way to remember to turn everything off? Plug all of your electronics into a power strip. Flipping the switch turns everything off at once.

Don’t Waste Your Heat on Ghosts: By properly using a programmable thermostat, you can ensure that you are not unnecessarily heating the home when you are away or sleep. Programming a lower temperature for when you go to work and go to sleep can save you up to $180 a year in energy costs—a pretty sweet treat!

Check for more energy-saving tips.

About the author: Brittney Gordon is a communications team member for EPA’s ENERGY STAR program. She came to EPA in 2010 after a career in Broadcast Journalism.

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