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Temperatures are dropping and heaters are being turned on. Find out how to make your home more energy efficient.

Image description: According to the U.S. Department of Energy:

Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla were two of the greatest energy inventors of all time. Some of their most significant contributions — from the battery and power plants to alternating current and the electric motor — came to light more than a century ago, and yet, they are still influencing how we use energy in our everyday lives.
That’s why we’re dedicating the entire week on Energy.gov to Edison and Tesla, exploring their lives, some of their inventions and how their breakthroughs are the basis for today’s clean energy technologies. As part of Edison vs. Tesla week, we are also hosting a Google+ Hangout to answer your questions about these two storied inventors.
Join us on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 12:30 p.m. ET for a live discussion on Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. The event will be streamed on energy.gov/live and the Energy Department’s Google+ page.

Learn more about how you can participate.

Image description: According to the U.S. Department of Energy:

Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla were two of the greatest energy inventors of all time. Some of their most significant contributions — from the battery and power plants to alternating current and the electric motor — came to light more than a century ago, and yet, they are still influencing how we use energy in our everyday lives.

That’s why we’re dedicating the entire week on Energy.gov to Edison and Tesla, exploring their lives, some of their inventions and how their breakthroughs are the basis for today’s clean energy technologies. As part of Edison vs. Tesla week, we are also hosting a Google+ Hangout to answer your questions about these two storied inventors.

Join us on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 12:30 p.m. ET for a live discussion on Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. The event will be streamed on energy.gov/live and the Energy Department’s Google+ page.

Learn more about how you can participate.

Tips for Saving Energy During the Winter

In the winter, when many people turn on their heaters and put up holiday lights, gas and electric bills can be much higher than usual.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), a family spends more than $1,900 a year on electricity bills and other utilities. A big part of those costs come from wasted energy during those cold months.

However, you can save on winter energy costs if you make some changes in certain areas of your home.

Lighting

Improve the lighting in your home and save energy.

  • Replace traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, which last between six and 12 times longer. Remember to turn off any lights that aren’t in use.
  • Consider using LED lights for Christmas decorations. These use 90 percent less energy than the standard Christmas lights.

Thermostats and heating

Keep your home warm and comfortable.

  • Install a programmable thermostat for your home’s heating system.
  • Keep the doors and windows closed while the heat is on.
  • Frequently change the filters in your furnace.
  • Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

General tips

Be energy efficient throughout your home.

  • Only use the exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathrooms when necessary.
  • Repair any water leaks in the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, etc.
  • Use power strips to plug in portable heaters, television and cell phone chargers. That way, you can turn off the power switch when the devices are not in use.
  • If you’re thinking of replacing your appliances, make sure they have an Energy Star logo. Energy Star products are more energy efficient.

Programs for low-income families

During the winter, the government helps low-income families with their energy bills.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, helps families pay some of their heating costs. To see if you qualify for these benefits, contact your local LIHEAP office for more information.

Read this note in Spanish.

ENERGY STAR can help find the most efficient TV, fridge, washer, and heating or cooling system for your money.

Image description: At the National Renewables Energy Laboratory (NREL), scientists use the Insight Center Collaboration Room to examine and interact with their data. In this simulation, the room is converted into a virtual wind tunnel, allowing scientists to study the complex, turbulent flow fields around wind turbines.
Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.

Image description: At the National Renewables Energy Laboratory (NREL), scientists use the Insight Center Collaboration Room to examine and interact with their data. In this simulation, the room is converted into a virtual wind tunnel, allowing scientists to study the complex, turbulent flow fields around wind turbines.

Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.