BOSTON (CBS) – For the last five summers AARP has produced an article in their in July Bulletin on 99 Ways to Save. Last year I reviewed about half the list. Many of them useful, just as many not so useful.
This year they have another crop with 17 experts giving advice. Some of it quite good and some of it you have heard before but just haven’t done anything with it.
Unplug it! “Vampire” electronics consume power even when turned off. A typical household can save $100 a year using smart power strips, which cut electricity to devices in standby mode.
Great to use at your desk for your computer and printer, but hard to use in your bathroom for your toothbrush. You could also unplug your chargers after using them.
Install a low-flow showerhead. A low-flow fixture reduces the volume of water but does not affect the water pressure in any way. Saves 2,900 gallons a year, according to the EPA.
In the winter, reverse your ceiling fan. Revolving clockwise, the fan will pull up cool air and send down the heated air that’s settled near the ceiling.
I did not know this!
Seal drafty windows and doors. You can save 20% on energy to heat and cool a home that is well sealed and insulated.
Lower your water heater temperature setting. Manufacturers often configure the default to 140 degrees, when for the average home 120 degrees is sufficient. With each decrease of 10 degrees, you save an additional 3-5% in energy costs.
Clean or replace the filter in your furnace or air conditioner. Proper maintenance can save you 5-15% on your monthly heating and cooling bills.
Fix faucet leaks fast. In a single day, an average leak wastes 27 gallons of water.
Next time you are in the grocery store go down the water isle and see what 27 gallon jugs of water looks like. It’s a lot!
Install a programmable thermostat. Especially if you’re always forgetting to adjust the temperature when you leave the house or go to bed. Savings: a couple hundred dollars a year.
You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.