When the cold weather hits, you can stay comfortable with these energy saving solutions that will help lower your bill. After all, since heating and cooling account for more than half of your overall energy bill, it makes sense to check out these energy saving tips. Many don’t cost a thing and can make a real difference, while others will pay off in the long run.
- Upgrade your old system to a new, efficient model. A new system can save you $150 or more per year in energy costs.
- Help reduce heating costs. Set your thermostat back at least 8 degrees each day – when you are at work and/or sleeping. Here's a graphic to help guide your thermostat settings in the winter. Remember, the more you turn it down, the more you'll save!
- Install a programmable or Wi-Fi enabled thermostat. Proper use can save you about $180 per year in energy costs.
- If you don’t have a programmable or Wi-Fi enabled thermostat, set your thermostat to 70° or lower when home and lower when you are asleep or away.
- Don't set the thermostat higher than you actually want it, even if you're trying to heat your home quickly. It won't heat your home any faster, and it runs your system longer than necessary.
- Change or clean your furnace air filter once a month. Dust and dirt make your unit work harder.
- Have your system inspected regularly. An annual tune-up helps your system run more efficiently. Plus, loose or inefficient duct work can mean much of what you spend to heat your home is actually heating the outdoors.
- Vacuum registers and vents regularly.
- Don't let furniture and draperies block heating airflow.
- Have your fireplace chimney cleaned and inspected regularly.
- When using the fireplace, turn down the temperature in other rooms. Otherwise, warm air from those rooms will go right up the chimney – along with your money.
- When not using a fireplace make sure the damper is closed tight and keep the glass doors closed. If you don’t have glass doors, think about installing some to keep heat from escaping.
- Sealing air leaks around your home and adding insulation can help make your home more comfortable, more energy efficient and provide up to 10% savings on your annual energy bills.
- Never cover attic vents or recessed light fixtures with insulation, that can be a safety hazard. Also, never install insulation against chimneys and flue pipes, allow a three-inch clearance.
- While shopping for insulation, remember, the higher the R-value, the better you’re insulated from the cold.
- Install DIY (do-it-yourself) foam insulators behind your switch plates and outlets – after shutting off the power.
- If your basement is not heated, install blanket insulation in between exposed floor joists.
- Insulate water pipes (especially hot water pipes) to help prevent them from freezing and from heat escaping. It’s also a simple DIY project.
- Homeowners can save up to $200 a year in heating and cooling costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulation.
General Cold Weather Tips
- Open curtains and blinds during the day to let the warm sun in.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed at night to keep cold air out.
- Avoid using space heaters. They are expensive to operate and dangerous.
- Add area rugs to help keep your feet warm.
- Set ceiling fans to turn clockwise and run them on low speed to circulate warm air.
- Remove window air conditioners and seal windows with caulk and weather stripping.
- Seal doors and windows with weather stripping. There are many types of weather stripping available so pick which is best for you.
- Use expanding foam to seal openings around water spigots, air conditioner hoses, dryer vents and gas pipes.