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Energy conservation tips: Farmers’ Almanac predicts brutal winter

Energy conservation may become vital if the Farmers Almanac prediction comes true for winter 2013-2014.
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Energy conservation is vital, especially because the Farmers Almanac is now predicting a brutally, harsh winter for the United States.

Beginning later in the year 2013, most parts of the U.S.A. may begin experiencing piercing cold temperatures that will grip most of the United States. In addition, some parts of the Midwest are predicted to receive above average snow fall.

Whether or not the Farmers Almanac prediction comes true, you should still implement energy conservation tips, as this leads to reduced energy costs, and saving money is always a good thing.

Also let’s not forget that lowering financial stress leads to a healthier lifestyle, which may result in less sickness from colds and flu.

So first and foremost, let's uncover a common, yet hidden cause of respiratory illness in the colder months.

Your Humidifier Can Cause Respiratory Illness
Most home owners invest in a humidifier to keep their home comfortable during the colder months. It's also common for parents to use a humidifier to help their children ease a cough caused by dry air.

However, if you do not properly clean your humidifier regularly, you could unknowingly spread illness within your home. Click here for details, especially if you have children.

Energy Conservation Tips To Help You Save Money

Gutters & Downspouts
After most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, clean all of your gutters and downspouts.

If you have gutter protection that reduces leaves from getting into the gutters, it’s still a good idea to check your gutters and downspouts to assure all is working correctly and clear from debris. Click here for short video.

Windows & Doors
Check all windows and doors for weather stripping, ensuring all are in good working order. The weather stripping should not be cracked or damaged. If you detect even small cracks or minor damage, replace it. Click here for short video.

If you need to replace a window but cannot afford the cost, use plastic window coverings that serve as wonderful cost effective insulation. Click here for short video.

Electrical Outlets & Light Switches
If you have felt cold coming through electrical outlets, it’s vital to insulate this area. Insulating these areas cost pennies each and the process is simple. Click here for short video.

Furnace Care
Replace your furnace filter at least every 2 – 3 months. Your home will smell fresher, your air will be cleaner and your furnace will run more effectively and efficiently, which helps reduce your heating costs. Click here for short video.

It’s also a good idea to call a qualified, reputable furnace company to have your furnace professionally cleaned and tuned up annually. They will also check your furnace to find if it's emitting Carbon Monoxide, which is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill people. Click here to check with the Better Business Bureau to help reduce the risk of hiring an unscrupulous company.

Chimney Care
If you have a fireplace and burn wood in that fireplace, call in a certified chimney sweep to clean the chimney. You might also want to check with the Better Business Bureau in your area to ensure the chimney sweep is reputable.The cost for this service is not extreme. Plus you will reduce the risk of a chimney fire that can destroy your home.

Chimney Flue
When your fireplace embers are completely exhausted, close the flue. This is something many homeowners forget to do, and leaving the chimney flue open will significantly push up your energy costs. Click here for a short video.

Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans, run these fans on low, but reverse the airflow direction from summer time. The air towards the ceiling is always much warmer, and thus a ceiling fan pushing the air to the floor will help reduce heating costs. Click here for a short video.

Carbon Monoxide Detector
It’s always a good idea to invest in a quality carbon monoxide detector. Every year people are sickened and even die due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be emitted from an unnoticed, malfunctioning furnace. Carbon Monoxide detectors can be purchased at most any home improvement store, and they are not costly. Click here for a short video.

Smoke Detectors
If you don't have smoke detectors, install them according to instruction. If you have battery operated smoke detectors, change the batteries according to the manufacturer's instruction. Click here for a short video.

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