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Saving heating dollars with double-duty use

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A neighbor of mine claims that his two children hang around the refrigerator on cold winter nights. Why? They like warming their fingers and toes with the warm air given off by the refrigerator during its normal cooling cycle.

Another friend contends that her clock saves heating dollars. How? By placing the clock in a windowsill, children playing outside can check the time without opening a door every few minutes.

For years mothers have hung wet mittens on warm oven doors; in other words, the mittens dried while the dinner cooked. One energy source was used to do two tasks.

Energy dollars are spent more efficiently when two or more jobs are completed by the normal operation of one appliance. Making your energy dollars do double duty may prove worthwhile, especially if energy consumption has reached the bare-bones minimum in your home.

Here are some suggestions that may prove beneficial in getting more value from your energy dollars:

* Save washing, drying, and dishwashing until the evening hours, if possible. The normal operation of these appliances can add heat and moisture to the house.

* Rather than heat an iron, use the warm top of the clothes dryer to smooth wrinkles out of sheets, pillowcases, and tablecloths.

* Use the retained heat produced by your clothes dryer. By drying heavier articles first, lightweight or permanent-press clothes in the last load may dry without additional heating of the dryer.

* Make the most of retained heat by drying clothes in consecutive loads. Heat built up by several continuous drying cycles will prevent using extra energy to warm the dryer to the proper operating temperature. Stop-and-start drying is expensive.

* Use the heat in your house to dry clothes. By hanging garments to air-dry, energy dollars are saved and moisture from the clothes can raise the humidity level inside the house.

* Use your clothes dryer to dampen clothes for ironing. Completely drying items that must be ironed wastes energy dollars. Remove ironable items from the dryer and press them while still damp.

* To save energy when ironing, remove the ironing board pad and cover the entire surface of the board with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Then replace the pad on the board. Heat from the iron will be reflected upward and a lower temperature setting can be used for pressing.

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