Get Started Now With This Winter Energy Saving Tips
As much as we like to hang on to the warm summer months, the shorter days and colder temperatures signal we’re moving into winter.
Our natural reaction is to spend more time at home. We watch television more. We curl up in blankets and sit by the fire. And, of course, the furnace is kicked into high gear, making sure we’re comfortable day and night.
Yet every time you reach for the thermostat to bump up the temperature a degree, your energy bill climbs right along with it. How can you stay comfortable while lowering your energy bills and your carbon footprint at the same time?
Start with maintenance
When was the last time you scheduled a maintenance visit for someone to clean and inspect your HVAC equipment? Just because your furnace and air conditioner are “out of sight” doesn’t mean they should be “out of mind” until you have a problem. If you schedule a maintenance visit before the start of each season, you can ensure your equipment is in the best shape possible before you put it to work. This will give you a chance to fix minor problems that could quickly escalate to full-blown emergency issues.
Consider where heat is escaping
In some cases, you might know. Have you ever walked by a window or door and felt a draft? That’s a sign of a problem. Before the temperatures turn cold, walk around your home and inspect problem areas for any signs of gaps or leaks. Look for missing caulk or ineffective weatherstripping. Pay attention to gaps by electrical outlets, attic hatches, vents, and fans.
A great way to find out where many of your problems lie is to schedule an energy audit. This test will find weaknesses throughout your home, top to bottom, and help you make wise choices on where you can make your biggest improvements. Adding attic insulation, for example, might be the easiest way to make the most significant difference to the warmth of your home.
Save water, save energy
Your hot water heater is one of the biggest consumers of energy in your home. With traditional tank water heaters, water is heated and stored for use. Setting the temperature at 120 degrees in the winter will you have adequate hot water when needed without leaving setting water too hot. Also, consider washing clothes in cold water, as it consumes less energy than using warm. Do dishes by hand, or ensure your dishwasher is full before operating. You can also turn off the dryer in your dishwasher and allow your dishes to air dry.
Move to LED
If you haven’t made a move to energy-saving lighting throughout your home, it’s one of the easiest ways to make a difference. LED lights use as much as 90 percent less energy than other forms of lighting, including fluorescent and incandescent lighting. Plus it’s one of the easiest things you can take on as a DIY project.
If you’d like to learn more about saving energy this winter, start by scheduling an energy audit today.