Free help on making home energy-efficient

You can save money by making your home energy-efficient. And now you can get help with that, too.

The nonprofit Civic Works will do the job for free for low-to moderate-income residents in the neighborhoods of Belair-Edison, Harwood, Waverly and Coldstream Homestead Montebello. As part of "Project Lightbulb," the group will replace 15 incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent lights that use 75 percent less electricity. It will change the heads on one shower and the bathroom and kitchen sink faucets to lower water usage without reducing pressure.

An energy-efficient shower head, for instance, saves about one gallon of water per minute, said Earl Millett, Civic Works' community development director.

Additionally, Civic Works will install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home and check on the big energy wasters: hot-water heaters and freezers. Millet says hot-water heaters need to be set at only 120 degrees, although many people have a higher setting. Freezers are often unnecessarily set well below freezing. "You are just over-cooling your food," Millett says.

And if that isn't enough, Civic Works will also give you other tips on how to keep your energy costs down.

To find out more about the program, call 410-366-8533, ext. 208.

The percentage reduction in electricity used by a compact flourescent bulb over an incandescent bulb was misstated in an earlier version of this story. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.

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