The Utility Zone

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By Dan Maginn
Your garage, laundry room, basement, and other nonglam support areas: These are the silent killers of energy-efficiency in your home.1 Because these spaces are largely “unseen” (and because they’re where spiders look up at us with their tiny, frightening eyes), we tend to look the other way and ignore their negative impact on our efforts. Spiders or no spiders, we can no longer afford this attitude.

No second fridge. It’s the enemy.
Get rid of that thing, buzzing away down there in the basement. It costs more to operate than you realize. Besides, you have way too much of whatever the hell you have in it anyway. Just say no. 

Slip into something more ecological.
You can make a big impact on your energy and water consumption simply by modifying your laundry practices. Stay away from partial loads. Use cold water only. Get retro and line dry if you have the basement or yard space.2

Clean your garage.
You’ve sold your second car, right? Good for you. Now you have a free bay in your garage! Park your bikes there and give yourself some room to maintain and store them.

Park your energy-wasting ways.
You really don’t need to heat and cool your garage. So stop it, okay?3

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  1. If you elect to have an energy audit performed on your house, you might be surprised to see how much attention is paid to these rooms.
  2. Allow your kid the joys of slipping through freshly laundered, air-dried sheets on a spring morning. Ahhhhh…
  3. Unless you live in St. Cloud, Minnesota, or something. Maybe. Even then, dial it back.