Reduce Energy Bills during the Summer Heat with Tips from Live Green, Save Green (SM)

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As temperatures rise during the long summer months, utility bills often increase, too. As a part of its Live Green, Save Green (SM) initiative, American Home Shield, a leading national provider of home protection plans, is helping homeowners learn how to lower their energy usage, which can ultimately help them save money and make better choices for the environment.

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“Temperature regulation is key,” says Gale Colvin, Live Green, Save Green (SM) expert and director of operations for AmeriSpec, one of the nation's leading home inspection companies. “Install a programmable thermostat if one is not already in place."

As temperatures rise during the long summer months, utility bills often increase, too. As a part of its Live Green, Save Green (SM) initiative, American Home Shield, a leading national provider of home protection plans, is helping homeowners learn how to lower their energy usage, which can ultimately help them save money and make better choices for the environment.

“Temperature regulation is key,” says Gale Colvin, Live Green, Save Green (SM) expert and director of operations for AmeriSpec, one of the nation's leading home inspection companies. “Install a programmable thermostat if one is not already in place. You can program it to adjust the temperature up or down when the house is empty or when everyone’s home, depending on your family’s comfort level and lifestyle. They’re fairly inexpensive, with models starting around $30, and many have easy-to-follow instructions for installation.”

Colvin also emphasizes that making minor adjustments can have significant impacts. “Be sure to turn the thermostat up two to four degrees in the summer, rather than down. Your family will probably not notice such a small change, but you’ll use less energy, which can add up to big savings.”

In fact, according to some utility companies, every degree below 78 can add four to six percent or more to your home’s cooling costs.

“Also take advantage of ceiling, box and stand fans. These can reduce the stress on your cooling system and the air circulation can make the room feel several degrees cooler,” Colvin says.

Additional recommendations on energy consumption from Live Green, Save Green (SM) include:

  •     Check weather stripping on windows and doors for cracks, gaps or deterioration. Replace weather stripping and caulk where needed.
  •     Reduce the number of loads you wash by making each load of laundry and dishes count. Each time you wash a load, make sure the unit is full.
  •     Regularly check the refrigerator to ensure that the temperature is at the correct setting; temperature settings that are too low make the appliance run more than needed, which costs you money. As a general rule, the refrigerator temperature should be 37 degrees and the freezer temperature should be between zero and five degrees. Check your manufacturer’s guide for specific guidelines for your appliance.
  •     Conduct an energy audit. Whether preformed by the consumer or a professional, an audit can help establish a starting point for determining potential saving.

Follow Live Green Save Green (SM) on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/LvGreenSvGreen) and Facebook (http:/http://www.facebook.com/livegreensavegreen) for daily tips and links to helpful resources. For additional information on reducing energy consumption and on Live Green, Save Green (SM), including details on how to enter to a win a $25,000 kitchen or bath makeover visit http://www.LiveGreenSaveGreen.com.

About American Home Shield
American Home Shield helped found the home protection plan industry in 1971 and remains an industry leader, servicing 1.3 million customers across 49 states. The Memphis-based company operates three customer service centers, employs over 1,800 employees and over 11,000 approved, independently insured service contractors nationwide. AHS customers have total accessibility to request service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and AHS will arrange for the contractor to call you during normal business hours to schedule an appointment. American Home Shield is part of the ServiceMaster family of brands, one of the world’s largest and most versatile service networks. The company’s brands include TruGreen, TruGreen LandCare, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.

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