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Which kitchen appliance should I upgrade first?

If you have an older home that still has appliances dating back to the 1970s or 1980s, you’re smart to consider energy use as you look at replacing them. Most new appliances use much less energy than they did in the past, and manufacturers have found innovative ways to…

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Do-it-yourself home check

I had put it off as long as I could  — that most terrible of tasks dreaded by every homeowner whose home has one — a visit to the crawl space. I knew I might encounter spiders, odd odors and other unpleasantries. And I knew as an energy auditor that…

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Five home energy hogs

Dear Pat and Brad: Our family has been trying to reduce our monthly expenses. The other day, my sister-in-law and I compared our electric bills. I was surprised to find out her energy costs were significantly lower than mine, even though our homes are similar in size and built around…

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Low-cost energy tips for renters 

Dear Pat: It’s great to read about all the ways energy efficiency improvements to the home can save money, but what about folks like me who are renting or don’t have a lot of money to spend? Are there things I can do to reduce my energy bills? – Chelsea…