Energy Saving Tips: Fall and Winter

Ever notice that once the seasons begin to change and so does the energy bill? Wouldn’t it be nice to find ways to cut down on costs while still staying warm during the fall and winter months? Start with these tips on how to do just that!

·         First, take advantage of natural heat from the sun.

o   Open the curtains during the day to allow the sun to shine through the windows and then close the curtains at night to keep the chill off the windows from getting in.

·         Drafty windows? Cover them up!

o   Use heavy-duty clear plastic on a frame or tape to inside of window frames during winter.

o   Another option is to install tight-fitting insulating drapes or shades.

·         Adjust the temperature on thermostat.

o   When home and awake set the thermostat lower. Still make sure it is at a comfortable temperature for you.

o   When sleeping try turning the thermostat back 10-15 degrees for eight hours. This could save around 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs! (energysaver.gov)

o   The ease of changing the thermostat will depend on if you have a programmed thermostat or a heat pump.

·         Find and Seal Leaks

o   Where to look for leaks:

§  Utility cut-throughs for pipes

§  Gaps around chimneys

§  Recessed lights in insulated ceilings

§  Unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets

o   How to detect air leaks? https://energy.gov/energysaver/detecting-air-leaks

o   Add caulk (a waterproof filler and sealant, used in building work and repairs) or weather-stripping around doors and windows

·         Maintain Heating Systems

o   Find out what maintenance is required for the heating system you have. It can be different depending on the type of system.

o   Furnaces: replace furnace filter once a month or as needed

o   Wood & Pellet Burning Heaters: clean the flue vent regularly and clean inside of appliance with a wire brush periodically.

·         Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace

o   Unless the fire is burning keep the fireplace damper closed, leaving it open is like keeping a window open. Brrrr!

o   If you never use the fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue

o   If you do use the fireplace install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system.

§  This system will blow warmed air back into the room making the room nice and cozy!

o   Make sure the seal on the fireplace damper is snug.

o   A grater made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool air in and circulate warm air back out.

o   It also wouldn’t hurt to add caulking around the fireplace hearth.

·         Lower Your Water Heating Costs

o   Water heating accounts for about 18% of energy consumed in your home.

o   Turn down the temperature of water heater to the warm setting which is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

·         Lower Your Holiday Lighting Costs

o   Best lights to use are LED lights.

o   Advantages and potential cost savings of LED holiday light strings: https://energy.gov/energysaver/led-lighting

Hopefully all these tips are helpful to you and maybe some of you already do these! Never hurts to save extra costs wherever you can. If you have any other tips that aren’t mentioned or have a task you do every year to get ready for the fall and winter seasons send it in and maybe it will get added to a future blog!

Energy.gov is also a great source to use for getting tips and where we got help to get these awesome tips! https://energy.gov/energysaver/fall-and-winter-energy-saving-tips