This Week's Checklist

December 09, 2007

Around the house

Check out the Earth-friendly LED lights, or light-emitting diodes, which burn brighter than regular holiday lights and consume 80 percent to 90 percent less energy.

Although buying a programmable thermostat may cost upward of $100, homeowners can save about 10 percent on heating and cooling bills by purchasing one. It could possibly pay for itself in only a year. The device will turn down the heat during the hours that no one is at home, and turn it back up before people return - just make sure to program it correctly.

During the winter, change your ceiling fan's position to "up," and run the fan on "low" to help circulate the warm air trapped at the ceiling.

Natural sunlight can help keep your home warm. During the day, open the curtains or blinds.

To save on heating costs, drain and flush your water heater and change your furnace filter.

In the yard

Don't leave clay pots sitting outside in winter. The freezing temperatures could cause them to chip and crack. Instead, clean to get rid of any clinging dirt, and store them in the garage, the shed or another spot where they will be out of the weather.

Before putting up outdoor decorations, check for broken bulbs, cracked sockets or frayed wires.

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