Increase Efficiency as Temperatures Plummet
A cold winter can bring an equally cold reality: higher heat bills. This winter, keep your costs and energy use as low as possible by following these winter efficiency tips:
- Have a heating system checkup and change your filter every month or two during winter.
- Make sure there’s plenty of insulation in attics and crawl spaces. Check the ductwork that’s in your basement or attic. Air leaks in ducts can account for about 20 to 30 percent of wasted heat. If there are leaks or holes in your ducts, use sealant or metal tape.
- Check for gaps and air leaks around doors, windows, outlets, etc. Seal these areas with caulk, sealant, weather stripping, etc.
- Use a programmable thermostat to set your temperature lower when you’re away to prevent energy waste from heating an empty house. Using a programmable thermostat can help you save about $180 each year.
- Leave space around heating registers so warm air can easily enter the area.
- Consider replacing older heating equipment with newer, more efficient systems.
- A space heater can help increase the temperature of a room rather than cranking up the heat to warm the entire house. By using a space heater, you can turn down your thermostat and place less demand on your furnace.
- Keep curtains open to let direct sunlight heat the home during daylight hours. Remember to close your curtains in the evening to reduce drafts.
- Turn your water heater down to the “warm” setting, or to about 120 degrees, to cut back on the energy waste and reduce the likelihood of scalds. Water heating consumes a higher percentage of heating costs than you might think, nearly a fifth.
For additional information on energy efficiency, visit SafeElectricity.org or EfficiencyResource.org.