U-Value Windows

The lower the U-value, the better the insulation. In colder climates, a U-value of 0.35 or below is recommended. These windows have at least double glazing and low-e coating.
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Heating & Cooling Dollars

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in 1997 the average house spent over $1300 in energy costs. 44% of those costs, or about $600, came from heating and cooling. Yet, by setting the thermostat down just one degree a home could, over an eight-hour period, reduce energy costs by 1%. Doesn't sound like much? Look at the math: If you set the thermostat back by 10 degrees for the eight nighttime sleeping hours, and did this for a whole month you could lower your monthly bill by 10 percent. Do the same for the eight hours you're at work and you're looking at 20 percent. For the average home this could mean a $20 savings on the monthly heating costs with similar savings for the cooling season. A programmable thermostat can ensure those savings and pay for itself in one season.
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Disappearing Bulbs

Moles don't usually eat plant matter, focusing instead on insects. However, rodents such as mice and voles use their tunnels like a subway, and they do eat roots and bulbs. As you plant, mix products made from crushed oyster shells into the soil surrounding the bulb. This makes for tough digging for the rodents, and they might be induced to look elsewhere for a meal. Some gardeners resort to planting bulbs in little cages made of hardware cloth (wire mesh) to keep critters from munching on the bulbs.
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Replacing Refrigerators

If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it. New refrigerators today use half the energy of 10-year-old refrigerators and Energy Star labeled refrigerators are even more efficient. Some use 15% less energy than required by federal guidelines.
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Contractor Caution

Be especially cautious if a contractor: comes door-to-door or seeks you out; just happens to have material left over from a recent job; tells you your job will be a "demonstration;" offers you discounts for finding him/her other customers; quotes a price that's out of line with other estimates; pressures you for an immediate decision; offers exceptionally long guarantees; can only be reached by leaving messages with an answering service;
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