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Fall and Winter Energy Saving Tips

Fall and Winter Energy Saving Tips

Electric bills can be expensive, especially during the winter as days get shorter and the heat drops. It’s common for homeowners to crank up the heat and get cozy indoors during the cold winter months. So it’s no secret that energy usage rises as seasonal temperatures drop! Aside from the monetary side of things, saving electricity is also great for the planet. With a few simple changes around your house, you can avoid wasting energy while staying warm this winter. Here are Fall and Winter Energy Saving Tips!

Use Your Ceiling Fans to Offset Heating Costs

Ceiling fan direction in the winter should be switched to clockwise and be sure to set the fan at the lowest speed. This will allow the fan to pull cool air up toward the ceiling, which in turn displaces the warm air that rises and collects near the ceiling. If you have high ceiling, this is especially important to do in the winter season because it moves the warmer air trapped at the top of the room down and allows the air to flow toward the floor and along the walls therefore making the room feel warmer, allowing you to lower the thermostat. This simple step can help with circulating the warmer air in the room and save you money on your electric bill.

Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows

Installing tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing will help keep warm air from escaping, therefore keeping your rooms nice and warm.

Storm Windows Offer Your Home Benefits

Even high-quality windows in good repair should have storm windows. They provide a second layer of glass and a dead-air space between the panes to retain the heat. If you can, this measure will help you save on your energy bill and keep your home comfortable during colder day.

Clean or Replace Furnace Filters

Remember to clean or replace your furnace filters every three months. Dirty filters cause the motor on your furnace and air conditioner system to work harder and become less efficient. This simple measure will keep your furnace working optimally for every season.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Installing a smart thermostat is a smart thing to do for your home. ENERGY STAR® estimates that you can save as much as 10 percent on heating and cooling costs by properly using a smart or programmable thermostat to manage heating and cooling your home. Plus, a smart or programmable thermostat can makes it easy to set back your temperature. If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.

Lowering your thermostat can help

If it makes sense for your lifestyle, find out how low you can set your thermostat and still feel comfortable. You can start by setting is a couple of degrees lower than your normal setting and wear a favorite sweater or hoodie, or snuggle with a blanket.

Use Devices Efficiently

Many people continuously use technology, especially as we spend more time indoors in cold weather. That can hike energy use—and bills. Using the energy saver mode on your devices, appliances, and even some heating equipment could go a long way. Toward easily reducing energy consumption without sacrificing performance. Depending on your products, this may also be called “low power mode,” “battery saver,” or something similar.

Enable “auto power down” on your gaming console to ensure the device goes into low-power mode when not in use. ENERGY STAR estimates that using these power management features could save you up to $30 a year.  Also, avoid accessing streaming video through your game console. The game console can use at least 10 times more energy to stream a movie than, say, a Roku box or the app on your smart TV.

Shut down devices you’re not using. If you need a power strip to plug in more devices and equipment and make it easier to turn them off at once. Consider an advanced power strip to reduce electricity waste from idle devices that may still be consuming power in standby mode.  The Department of Energy has more advice for curbing energy waste from devices that may appear to be switched off but are still using electricity, also known as “energy vampires.”

Here are more tips for some of the most energy-intensive appliances in our homes:

  • Use cold water for laundry and wash full loads to save on energy and water heating.
  • Try not to open the oven door to check on your food—the temperature may drop as much as 25 degrees, requiring more energy to heat up again.
  • Lowering the temperature on your water heater from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can potentially save you up to $400 a year—and you won’t notice the difference.

Seal Cracks, Gaps, and Air Leaks

Reduce your heating costs by sealing cracks and gaps. Add weather stripping & caulking around all doors and windows, and attic entryways to reduce air leaks. Seal the air leaks around all the utility cut-throughs for pipes, gaps around fireplace chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind your kitchen cupboards, bathroom cabinets and closets

Take Advantage of Energy from the Sun

You can heat your home naturally using our wonderful Florida sunlight by opening curtains on south-facing windows during the day. Remember to close them at night. This will prevent you from losing any heat through the windows.

Check Your Heating System Every Year

Have your heating system checked by a professional at the beginning of the heating season. That will help make sure it’s operating as efficiently as possible.

Inspect and Replace Your Furnace Filter Regularly

This is also a good time for basic maintenance of your heating and cooling systems. Ensure furnace filters are clean, so the equipment isn’t working harder than it needs to be. Some filters can be cleaned and reused, but others must be replaced entirely, so check your model’s maintenance requirements. Consider calling an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) professional to evaluate your system for further improvements.

Decorative Lighting

Using LED string lights or laser light projectors may be a safer approach to holiday home decorating. One benefit is that LED string lights are cheaper than old incandescent lights. Also, the outdoor colorful laser projectors that shine holiday lights and shapes on your home use less energy and can save you money on your electric bill. Not to mention, they take up less room to store and are safer than climbing on the roof. Learn more about the advantages of LED lighting and why they are safer, sturdier, and longer lasting.

You have the power to save money and energy in your own home. Saving energy reduces our nation’s demand for the resources needed to make energy, and improving your energy efficiency is like adding another clean energy source to our electric power grid. The result is reduced utility bills and money in your pocket. Improving your energy efficiency can also im- prove the comfort of your home and your quality of life.

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