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Electricians Tips & Tricks Blog

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Welcome to the Mister Sparky Tips & Tricks Blog! Look around to read our latest posts or delve into our archives for great ideas on maximizing your home’s energy efficiency, upgrading your electrical wiring, selecting new appliances or keeping your home safe. Whether you’re buying or building a new home, preparing for renovations, or just trying to keep on top of your own home maintenance, you’ll find interesting topics and helpful tips right here.


Technological innovations are developing faster all the time, and many of them have implications for the modern home. If you wish you could control all your appliances and electronics from a single smartphone or have a house that learns your behaviors and predicts your needs, it’s not science fiction -- it’s the smart home.


And if you’re looking to learn more about the old-school basics, like bringing your home into compliance with local building codes, replacing broken fixtures or setting up a generator to keep your household humming through a blackout, feel free to start your journey here. You might even find inspiration for a new home project or be reminded of an overdue opportunity for preventative home maintenance!


Check back often and bookmark this page to stay on top of the latest posts.



xmaslights

Save Time and Money On Next Year’s Holiday Light Display

  • 12/20/17

Mister Sparky hopes you had a fun and safe time decorating for the holidays this year! As electricians, we have a soft spot for strands of twinkling lights, as well as lots of opinions on how to safely put them up, operate them and store them until next year. We
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Earth Day

Give the Planet a Break on Earth Day

  • 04/19/17

How will you be celebrating Earth Day this Saturday? Even if there are no big events in your area, you can get in the spirit by making some small changes in your home and habits to help heal the environment. From reducing emissions to repurposing household junk, these Earth Day
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cords

Choose the Right Extension Cord for the Job

  • 04/05/17

When the nearest electrical outlet is so close, yet so far away, an extension cord can put the power right where you want it. But there’s a big difference between bringing a cell phone charger to your bedside and firing up a treadmill in front of your TV. When you
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green

Go Green For a Day

  • 03/15/17

St. Paddy’s Day is nearly here -- do you have your green outfit picked out? Regardless of whether or not you choose to go green in your mode of dress, St. Patrick’s Day is as good a day as any to go green with your energy consumption.

For most of us,
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Municipal building code

Does Your Home Have Knob and Tube Wiring?

  • 02/08/17

Since electrical work isn’t for amateurs, many homeowners don’t know much about the electrical systems in their homes. With all the wiring hidden behind the walls, it may be that all you know is what you learned in your pre-sale inspection -- if you remember, that is.

When it comes to
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leds

Make the Switch to LEDs and Save

  • 11/09/16

Daylight saving time has ended and winter is on its way. That means you're using your household lighting much more often, and if you're still using incandescent light bulbs, it could also mean a noticeable jump in your electrical bills.

But it doesn't have to be that way -- if you're
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Putting Hot Food in the Fridge is Safe, But Costly

  • 10/19/16

If you’re a hawk about refrigerator energy efficiency, you probably already do things like keep your fridge and freezer mostly full, clean the coils regularly and avoid browsing for snacks with the door open. But one tactic can be a
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congress

October is Energy Action Month

  • 10/05/16

Last year, President Obama declared October to be Energy Action Month, a time when Americans are encouraged to take steps to reduce their energy consumption and cut greenhouse gas emissions. In this second October of focused
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bigdata

Energy Disaggregation Makes the Grade

  • 09/07/16

Whether or not you’re familiar with the term “energy disaggregation”, you’re likely to start hearing it more and more. That’s because technology companies have been working diligently to fine-tune this new tech, and one has just reached a significant benchmark
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cords

Pull the Plug on Energy Vampires

  • 08/31/16

You’ve probably heard that it’s important to unplug your cell phone charger when your phone isn’t connected, because the charger will continue to drain power. While this is true, cell phone chargers generally draw a tiny amount of power on
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House with outdoor lighting

Add Drama and Safety to Your Home with Outdoor Lighting

  • 07/20/16

No matter how much you do to beautify the exterior of your home, you won’t be able to appreciate it after dark unless you put some of that effort into your outdoor lighting scheme. A good outdoor lighting design can
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Home inspector

Find Opportunities for Savings with a Home Energy Audit

  • 07/13/16

Most homeowners want to do what they can to make their homes more energy efficient, but it’s less common to know exactly where to focus those efforts. To make informed decisions about energy efficiency upgrades, you’ll need to search your
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laptop

Save Energy With Computer Upgrades and New Habits

  • 06/22/16

Many homeowners can name the appliances and devices in their homes that consume the most energy -- the HVAC system, hot water heater and refrigerator top the lists in most North American homes. Consumer electronics generally use far less energy,
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Clothes dryer

Make Your Dryer More Energy Efficient With a Few Simple Tricks

  • 06/15/16

Did you know that your clothes dryer is one of the biggest energy hogs in the typical home? According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, the dryer usually consumes more energy than the dishwasher,
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appliances

Appliance Upgrades May Be More Affordable Than You Think

  • 06/08/16

The state of the technology used in our household appliances is advancing rapidly. Refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers and other major appliances are becoming more sophisticated and energy efficient; some are even more durable -- though no appliance lasts forever. And
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Lower utility bills

Cook Green and Stay Cool With Small Kitchen Appliances

  • 06/01/16

Slaving over a hot stove may sound like an appealing chore in the dead of winter, but who wants to do that in the middle of summer? Not only is it uncomfortable, it can be a huge drag on your
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fridge

Prioritize Safety Over Savings With Refrigerator Temperature

  • 05/25/16

Savvy homeowners look for ways to reduce their energy use in every area of their homes. And when it comes to home appliances, few use as much energy as your refrigerator. But if you’re tempted to adjust the temperature settings
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fridgedoor

Your Refrigerator is Running, Perhaps Inefficiently

  • 05/18/16

Your refrigerator is one of the most indispensable appliances in your home. But because it’s generally low-maintenance (not to mention a pain in the neck to move), it’s an easy appliance to take for granted. That’s all the more reason
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fitbit

Smart Meters May Help You Get Hooked on Energy Efficiency

  • 05/04/16

Most homeowners don’t think about energy efficiency several times a day. But if they did, they might be able to make serious strides toward lower bills and emissions by making small, quick adjustments like doing laundry four hours later than
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blackout

With Blackouts More Likely, the Solution May Be Smart Tech

  • 04/27/16

Summertime heat waves are no picnic for anyone, but they can be especially stressful for the national power grid. When air conditioners are running across entire regions, the demand placed on the electrical grid can increase the risk of widespread
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earth

Celebrate Earth Day With Energy Efficiency Upgrades

  • 04/20/16

Do you have any plans to do something great for the environment this Earth Day? Start change at home by boosting your household energy efficiency -- a move that not only reduces your contribution to destructive greenhouse gases,
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appliances

How the Internet of Things Benefits You and Your Utility Company

  • 03/23/16

By now, you’ve surely heard of the Internet of Things. The term describes a growing network of everyday objects that are all linked together, providing immense opportunities for automation and communication. Many households already interact with the Internet of Things to a certain extent, but we’ve only scratched
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modernkitchen

Check Out the Next Generation of Efficient Electric Appliances

  • 03/09/16

Are you impressed by the nation's current lineup of efficient electrical appliances and devices? You ain't seen nothing yet, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The DOE recently released a report previewing some of the big technological breakthroughs that are poised to help you get the most out of
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congress

Learn About Your State's Energy Efficiency Programs

  • 02/24/16

You're probably familiar with some of the federal energy efficiency programs by now. The most prominent, the Clean Power Plan, was announced last year with ambitious targets to limit carbon and other pollutants generated by the nation's electrical work. What you might not be aware of is the
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ecosetting

Do Eco Settings on Your Appliances Really Save Energy?

  • 02/17/16

Economy settings have become a standard option on nearly all modern appliances. They purport to put the decision about energy conservation in the consumer's hands: Do you run the machine in its normal mode, or use the most economical setting to burn up less power and marginally reduce your contribution
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gdp

Clean Energy Investment Can Drive GDP Growth

  • 02/10/16

The way we generate power to fuel the nation’s electrical work is a hotbed of controversy. Concerned pundits worry that reductions in fossil fuel consumption could be detrimental to job growth and hamstring the American economy. However, other experts argue that increasing our reliance on wind, solar and
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Power surges damage electronics

Low Voltage Direct Current Could Power Homes of the Future

  • 02/02/16

What if everything you knew about your home electrical work got turned on its head in the not-too-distant future? That could be reality, not science fiction, and maybe even sooner than you think. It’s not so far-fetched that in the coming decades, the electrical work in the American
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homeefficiency

Measuring Energy Efficiency Accurately

  • 01/14/16

Energy efficiency is a laudable goal, but many of us don’t always know the best or most cost-effective ways to move forward. It’s important to avoid falling prey to myths or overly-rosy projections about how much
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energystar

Energy Star Releases List of Most Efficient Appliances of 2015

  • 12/22/15

There’s no better time than now to update your electrical work with the latest in washing machines, refrigerators, televisions and other devices. To help you decide among the thousands of appliances available on the market, the federal Energy Star program
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lightfixture

Tips for Connecting New Light Fixtures to Old Wiring

  • 12/03/15

There are plenty of reasons to install new indoor light fixtures in your home. Perhaps you want to update your interior aesthetic, or save energy by upgrading to efficient LED bulbs. Maybe you even want to bring your lighting into a smart home control system. Although
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efficienthome

Build the Ultimate Energy-Efficient Home

  • 11/17/15

Imagine a future free from electricity bills. A home where you can maintain or improve your current levels of comfort, but one that is so efficient that it costs little to nothing to power its electrical work. Someday soon, this vision could become a reality, with a combination
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appliances

This Device Can Disaggregate Your Energy Usage to Help You Conserve

  • 11/12/15

Do you ever lie awake at night thinking about new ways to cut back on your energy consumption? You'll soon be able to rest soundly, because there's a new piece of technology that can make all your dreams come true. One of the trendiest ways to save energy with your
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powerstrip2

Get the Latest in Modern Power Strip Technology

  • 11/03/15

The lives of 21st Century Americans are filled with endless electronic gadgets and appliances. A modern home filled with computers, entertainment systems and portable devices can quickly run short of convenient electric outlets to provide power to the media extravaganza. That makes power strips a must. In addition to providing
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mortgage

SAVE Act Legislation Would Allow Mortgages to Reward Energy Efficiency

  • 10/29/15

Mortgage lenders try to look at the big picture, considering things like taxes and insurance when deciding how much they can loan out to homeowners and buyers. However, there's a major ongoing expense that appraisers currently don't take into account – monthly utility bills. You don't need to be an
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modern

Can You Save Energy and Maintain the Same Standard of Living?

  • 10/20/15

Saving energy is a laudable goal. By using less electricity and other energy around your home, you reduce your contribution to environmental degradation and climate change. On the other hand, easy and reliable access to electricity is in large part responsible for the high standard of living that most Americans
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windmill

How to Install a Windmill in Your Backyard

  • 10/13/15

Have you ever dreamed of generating your own electricity, right in your backyard? That dream could become reality with a residential wind turbine. Wind turbines won't work for everybody, but in the right conditions, they can provide part or all of the power you need to run your home electrical
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questions

Don't Fall for This Common Misunderstanding About Home Energy Use

  • 10/08/15

Do you find energy conservation confusing? You're not alone. According to a recent study, Americans are by-and-large misinformed about what household appliances consume the most electricity. As a result, homeowners who wish to cut down on the energy they use in their home electrical work might find themselves
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electricmeter2

How to Read Your Electric Meter

  • 10/06/15

Have you ever received a nasty shock when your electric bill arrived? Maybe the amount you owed skyrocketed when you turned on the air conditioning for the summer, or the refrigerator started breaking down and consumed an excess of electricity. No matter what the cause of your sky-high electric bill,
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solar

Google Can Help Evaluate Your Home's Suitability for Solar Panels

  • 10/01/15

Technology giant Google made its start as a search engine, subsequently branching into email, cloud storage, advertising and so much more. Now the company from Mountain View is surging forward with a new application, promising to tell consumers if their roofs are suitable for installing solar panels. The program, called
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neighbors

Do You Conserve More Energy than Your Neighbors?

  • 09/24/15

Tired of breaking the bank just to keep up with the Joneses? Forget fancy cars and other status symbols. How about a way to maintain a friendly neighborly competition that actually involves saving money instead of spending? Americans have a wealth of resources at their disposal to empower families to
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homebatteries

New Storage Batteries Could Revolutionize Residential Power

  • 09/22/15

A home battery can solve a lot of problems. With enough storage, you can buy electricity when it's cheapest, then dole it out when you need it. Plus, you'll be protected in case of a blackout. Until very recently, the technology for a practical home battery system wasn’t powerful enough
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cleanenergy2

What Obama's Clean Power Plan Means for You

  • 09/15/15

The times, they are a-changin'. President Obama recently announced the details of his highly anticipated Clean Power Plan, a measure aimed at reducing the country's harmful fossil fuel emissions and limiting our contribution to climate change. The plan, when fully implemented, should reduce carbon emissions by 32 percent below 2005
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security

Beef Up Your Home Security by Adding Outdoor Lighting

  • 09/10/15

There are few things more chilling than a home burglary. Imagine a stranger rifling through and stealing your possessions – to say nothing of the danger if you or your family members are home at the time of the break-in. Fortunately, you can take steps to deter potential thieves by
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fusion

Can Fusion Bring Safe, Cheap Energy to the Nation?

  • 09/03/15

The future of electricity production in the United States is very much in flux. When President Obama introduced his Clean Power Plan, it was an indication that the days of fossil fuel dominance could be on the wane. If coal, oil and natural gas are on their way
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engineers

Energy Department to Support Improved Home Generator Production

  • 09/01/15

Looking for new ways to reduce your electricity bills? The Department of Energy is on the job. The agency is sponsoring research that could help decentralize the nation's electrical grid – instead of powering your electrical work from large generating stations, you could create your own electricity on-site by burning
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congress

Federal Legislation Could Help You with Energy Efficiency

  • 08/25/15

Are you sick and tired of paying an arm and a leg for your electricity bills? Congress is considering legislation that could bring you some relief. A bill was introduced to the House of Representatives this summer that would update the Title I Home and Property Improvement Loan
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green

Learn the Difference Between Green and Renewable Energy

  • 08/18/15

Energy deregulation gives consumers choices when it comes to the companies that provide their home electricity. Suppliers can compete for your electricity dollars in a variety of ways, offering low prices, short and long-term contracts, fixed or variable rates, and a choice in how your energy is generated. The sheer
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grid

Get a Glimpse of the 21st Century Power Grid

  • 08/13/15

Nearly every single person living in the United States relies on the electrical grid. It's how electricity gets from the power plant to your home, powering your devices and appliances. With no grid, none of the electrical work in your home will function – no television, no air conditioning and
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map

How Much Does Electricity Cost in Your State?

  • 08/11/15

Location, location, location. Many factors in your quality of life are affected by where you choose to live, including your energy costs. Wallet Hub recently released a report that surveyed the average energy costs, including electricity, in all 50 states. Read on to learn more about where your
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carcharger

How to Install an Electric Car Charger in Your Home

  • 08/06/15

If you’re considering the purchase of an electric car, good for you! You're doing your part to reduce the nation's reliance on oil and cut down on fossil fuel emissions, and you get to drive around in style to boot. But with many newer models, you’ll need to set up
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modem

More Efficient Modems and Internet Equipment on the Horizon

  • 07/28/15

The march of consumer product efficiency continues. Modems, routers and other internet equipment are the latest items to get a bump in energy efficiency thanks to a voluntary agreement between manufacturers and trade associations. The standards mean that new equipment should use about 10 to 20 percent less electricity than
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Efficiency

Upgrades Aren't Always Enough for Energy Efficiency

  • 07/23/15

As we venture further into the era of climate change, humans are constantly searching for ways to decrease energy consumption and increase efficiency. Unfortunately, there's no silver bullet. Truly reducing our impact on the global climate requires a combination of an increase in renewable power generation, CONTINUE READING >

stove

Soon You Will Get Text Messages from Your Electric Stove

  • 07/21/15

The Internet of Things is arriving in a big way. Smart thermostats, smart refrigerators, smart home security systems and more are all moving toward one integrated home system. One day soon, all your HVAC equipment, electrical work and appliances will be connected and in communication with
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bigdata

Big Data Will Bring Benefits to Utilities, Consumers

  • 07/14/15

The world is getting more connected, and machines are collecting massive amounts of data about consumer habits. In the energy sector, the rise of big data is poised to revolutionize the way utility companies provide electricity to homeowners. That's good news for you – the more information you have at
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leds

LED Lighting Technology and Your Smart Home

  • 07/09/15

Are you still using incandescent light bulbs? Your electrician would recommend a different course. Efficient lighting technology has blown up in the last few years, and advanced technologies are just getting better. Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, are at the forefront of modern lighting thanks to their inexpensive
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solar

Home Solar Energy Market is Heating Up

  • 07/07/15

Solar energy is taking off. In the first quarter of 2015, solar accounted for half of all new electricity production in the United States. That's great news for consumers, because a good deal of that energy is generated by residential solar panels, which reduce the amount that homeowners
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electronics

Smart Plugs Let You Control Devices With Your Phone

  • 07/02/15

Smart technology is poised to take over the home appliance market. We already have smart thermostats, smart lighting and even smart refrigerators. If that's not enough for you, there are some new contenders on the market that allow you to turn any electrical device in the
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boston

How Does Your City Fare in Energy Efficiency?

  • 06/25/15

Energy efficiency starts in the home, but the policies and practices of your local municipality play a big role as well. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently compiled an efficiency ranking for 51 of the largest cities in the United States, looking at local government
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efficiency2

Avoid Misconceptions When Investing in Home Efficiency

  • 06/23/15

Improving your home energy efficiency is a worthy and admirable goal. You can help reduce your impact on the environment while saving money with savvy decision making. However, the up-front investment for some efficiency upgrades is substantial, so always do your due diligence before you find electrician services and commit
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efficiencypollution

Energy Efficiency is the Best Way to Fight Climate Change

  • 06/18/15

Climate change is a growing concern in North America. We’re already seeing some of its consequences, with warmer temperatures and more extreme, less predictable weather over the past decade. Nevertheless, we continue to burn massive amounts of fossil fuels to satisfy our energy needs, sending troublesome levels of carbon dioxide
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Efficiency

Fewer Americans are Taking Energy Efficiency Measures

  • 06/16/15

Everyone likes to save energy, right? You’re reducing your impact on the environment and saving money on utility bills at the same time – talk about a win-win scenario. However, despite the obvious benefits, the percentage of Americans who take energy efficiency steps in their lives is actually dropping, according
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roof

Capture Energy Savings with Your Roof

  • 06/09/15

Roof replacement is rarely a happy job. It's messy, time-consuming and expensive. If it's time for you to install a new roof, however, you can make the best of it by including energy-saving features that can cut down on your utility bills and take some of the sting out of
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powerstrip

Idle Devices Cost You Big Money

  • 06/04/15

There's an easy way to save money on your electricity bills that doesn't require any new appliances, smart technology or other expensive upgrades. This revolutionary idea is beautiful in its simplicity: Just unplug your devices when you aren't using them. It turns out that “always on” or standby technology is
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homebuilding

New Homebuilding Trends Toward Efficiency

  • 06/02/15

It's no mirage – energy efficiency is gaining traction. Whether people are concerned about contributing to climate change by burning fossil fuels or saving money on their utility bills, there is rising demand for homes that can do more with less. Home builders are paying attention, and the new house
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smartmeter

What You Need to Know About Smart Meters

  • 05/26/15

Is your utility company planning on installing a smart meter on your home? You're not alone. These meters have been implemented in a number of regions across the United States, as well as in other countries in North America, Europe and Oceania. Read on to find out more about why
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retired

How to Cut Your Energy Bills When You Retire

  • 05/21/15

When the day comes for you to retire from work, you might find yourself with a lot more free time and a lot less money. Hopefully, you've planned your savings so you don't have to live your golden years on a shoestring budget, but in any scenario, it’s wise to
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batteries

Will Batteries Revolutionize Our Energy Grid?

  • 05/19/15

Battery technology has already made our lives more portable and convenient. From the disposable alkalines you used to use to power your Walkman to the modern rechargeable batteries in your cell phone and laptop, they allow us to take our work, entertainment and communication systems on the go. But batteries
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powerplant

How Can the EPA Clean Power Plan Help You Save?

  • 05/14/15

New rules will soon be in place to govern fossil fuel usage and cut carbon pollution coming from America's power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed the plan last year, and it is expected to be finalized this summer. Most of the rules have to do with the generation of
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energybills

Save energy by breaking down use appliance by appliance

  • 05/12/15

Sometimes the biggest challenge in saving energy is knowing where to start. Your monthly gas and electric bills come in big lump sums, so how can you identify the best opportunities to reduce your consumption? One of the smartest ways to get a clear idea of your energy consumption is
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cable-box

Energy-efficient cable boxes can cut your power usage

  • 05/05/15

Looking for a creative way to save energy? Don't forget about your cable box. The television might not be the first device most people think of when it comes to energy conservation, but that's about to change. A voluntary agreement among manufacturers, cable providers and the federal government calls for
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Home inspector

Get the Most from a Home Inspection

  • 04/30/15

When you're in the market for a new house, every little detail counts. If you overlook an important flaw, you could be in for major repair or overhaul bills in your would-be dream home. Fortunately, you can avoid unexpected costs with some savvy when it comes to choosing your home
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wind farm

Wind could power the U.S. by 2050

  • 04/28/15

The electricity you use to power your home is most likely generated by burning coal, with some nuclear and natural gas-fueled current in the mix for good measure. However, that could all be changing, and faster than anyone expected. While renewable fuel sources like solar and wind power make up
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Earth Day

Earth Day energy-saving tips

  • 04/21/15

This Earth day, why not play your part by making some small changes around the home to cut back on your electricity consumption? For every kilowatt hour your can knock off your meter, you're saving coal or natural gas that gets burned to generate electricity. 

Saving Energy Starts with You

Small
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Microwave oven

Use your microwave to save money and energy

  • 04/07/15

Why slave over a hot stove to provide healthy meals to your family when you could be saving time and money by using a microwave oven instead? In many cases, the microwave will use less energy than your range or oven and still create a delicious meal.

Radio Wave Technology

Using a
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Lower utility bills

Buying a bigger home may not mean bigger energy bills

  • 03/26/15

Do you need more space for a growing family? One of the tradeoffs to buying a larger home is having to pay more in utility costs for heating, cooling and other appliance use. However, advances in energy efficiency mean that you can offset some of that increased consumption. That means
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Spring cleaning tips

Spring cleaning tips to help lower your energy bills

  • 03/24/15
Ah, spring! When the temperature rises, the snow melts and birdsong provides a pleasant morning soundtrack. For many families, the onset of spring weather means it's time for a thorough house-cleaning — and a ramp-up of your energy-efficiency efforts? You can take advantage of your annual deep clean to make
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Clothes dryer

Save money with Energy Star-certified dryers

  • 03/12/15

Is it time to replace your old dryer? Great news: The federal Energy Star program has started certifying clothes dryers, making it easy to pick out the most cost-effective and efficient models. Read on to find out what the change means and how to pick out the best model for
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Smart fridge

New smart fridges can save you money

  • 03/02/15

You already have a smart phone – maybe even a smart thermostat. What's next? Believe it or not, refrigerators are next in the line of devices with advanced features and technology to improve our domestic lives. A new smart fridge, manufactured by GE, is scheduled to come
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Girl turning off light

Teach your kids to save energy

  • 02/26/15

You've done everything you can to conserve energy in your house -- purchased the latest Energy Star appliances, insulated your walls, and turned your thermostat down to 68. But the next thing you know, your kids are leaving lights on in rooms they aren't occupying. Or staring into the refrigerator
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Energy-efficient washing machine

Save on energy bills with your washer and dryer

  • 02/16/15

Everybody needs clean clothes. Unfortunately, your laundry room can clean you out your wallet if you aren’t careful. Washers and dryers can be notorious for using energy and driving up your utility bills. Fortunately, advances in technology mean that modern machines use a lot less electricity, gas and water than
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CES show 2015

Consumer Electronics Show highlights money-saving devices

  • 02/09/15
The Consumer Electronics Show held recently in Las Vegas showcased some of the devices leading the way to the next generation of energy efficiency. Among the equipment on display: Super-efficient lightbulbs, fans, dryers and more. Some of the designs will stick around, others might not, but the show allowed consumers
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Federal tax form and money

Get federal tax credits for energy efficiency

  • 02/02/15

It's hard to believe, but tax time is just around the corner. If you're like most taxpayers, you try to minimize what you owe Uncle Sam by taking all the deductions you're entitled to. If you made efficiency upgrades to your home last year, make sure you apply for credits
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Washing machines in energy efficiency graph

New appliances can save you money

  • 01/29/15
You might not be looking forward to shelling out the cash for a new washing machine or refrigerator. But there’s some good news: According to a recent report by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), home appliances are currently at an all-time high in efficiency and effectiveness,
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Save energy, money, environment

What motivates you to save energy?

  • 01/26/15

When we talk about reducing energy use around the house, it’s frequently in the context of saving money on monthly utility bills. It makes sense — money plays a role in so many decisions that we make, from where we work to what kind of car we drive to where
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Truth about electricity myths

Debunking electricity myths

  • 01/12/15

Smart homeowners are always looking for ways to lower their electricity bills. Not only do you save money, but you reduce your environmental footprint as well by decreasing your reliance on fossil fuels. Lowering your electricity and other utility bills can increase the value of your house and
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New kitchen appliances

New trends in kitchen appliances

  • 01/08/15

Do you have ranges and ovens on your mind? Maybe you just got a big bonus from work, or your last child finally graduated from college. There's no better way to celebrate than a new kitchen. From granite countertops to the latest in state-of-the-art appliance technology, you can cook in
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Happy woman sleeping

Saving energy will make you happier, study says

  • 01/05/15

If you cut back on your energy usage, you will be a happier person -- and not just because of all the money you'll save on your electricity bill. It turns out many of the activities that make people happier, like sleeping and socializing, are those that involve little or
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Green, energy-efficient home

Green homes sell for more money

  • 12/22/14

If you're looking to increase the efficiency of your home, there's some good news: Not only can you save a bundle of money with lower utility bills, studies show that you will be able to sell your house faster, and for more money as well. Green houses are attracting more
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Solar panels on roof

Is solar power right for your home?

  • 12/11/14

Solar power isn't just for going off the grid anymore. More and more homeowners are finding solar panels are a great option to supplement their existing power source and lower utility costs.

If you have the cash to make the up-front payment, installing solar panels can be a smart long-term
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Overflowing washing machine

Should you repair or replace a broken appliance?

  • 12/08/14

Household appliances are expensive investments, so it's an alarming moment when the hot water heater sputters to a stop or the washing machine starts spewing suds all over the laundry room. If you're lucky, the problem is something that can be inexpensively repaired. However, sometimes your appliance is telling you
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A space heater may save money

Can you save money with a space heater?

  • 11/17/14

Temperatures are falling rapidly, and some regions of the country have already seen snow. With winter settling in, renters and homeowners are cranking up their thermostats to stay warm and cozy while bracing themselves for a big bump in utility bills due to heating costs. Savvy consumers looking for a
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Ways to save energy and money

Saving energy saves money

  • 11/10/14

We all know that lowering the thermostat a degree or two in the winter will also lower our energy bills, and that turning off the lights when you leave a room conserves energy. There's a lot more you can do to protect your wallet from high utility bills. The U.S.
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Some easy steps to saving money with your refrigerator

Refrigerator tips for saving energy -- and money

  • 11/03/14

Refrigerators are among the biggest energy guzzlers in the average household, after heating and cooling systems and hot water heaters. You can't unplug your fridge to save electricity unless you want to spoil everything inside, so you need to seek out other methods to keep your bills down.

The first step
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Energy vampires could drive up your electric bills

Power vampires make for scary electric bills

  • 10/30/14

Halloween night is when ghouls and goblins hit the streets, but beware -- there are vampires already lurking inside your home. Energy vampires, that is, or electronic appliances that drain power even when turned off. If you aren't careful this wasted energy (also known as phantom loads) can turn your
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Consider safety when creating your Halloween yard display

Tips for a safe and energy-efficient Halloween

  • 10/20/14
Halloween is almost here, and it's time to start planning a great yard display. Vampires, ghosts and graveyards can liven up your property, get you in the holiday spirit and put a good scare into neighbors and trick-or-treaters alike. And of course, you'll want to light up your ghouls at
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