Energy Saving Tips for Winter & Fall
This article will help you find strategies to help
you save energy during the cool fall and cold winter
months. Some of the tips below are free and can be used
on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are
simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure
maximum savings through the winter.
If you haven't already, conduct an energy
assessment to find out where you can save the
most, and consider making a larger investment for
long-term energy savings.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HEAT FROM THE SUN
- Open curtains on your south-facing windows
during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat
your home, and close them at night to reduce the
chill you may feel from cold windows.
COVER DRAFTY WINDOWS
- Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a
frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of
your window frames during the cold winter months.
Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the
frame to help reduce infiltration.
- Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or
shades on windows that feel drafty after
Find out about other window treatments and
coverings that can improve energy
ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE
- When you are home and awake, set your
thermostat as low as is comfortable.
- When you are asleep or out of the house, turn
your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and
save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling
bills. A programmable thermostat can make
it easy to set back your temperature.
FIND AND SEAL LEAKS
- Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs
for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps
around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated
ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards
- Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks
around leaky doors and windows.
MAINTAIN YOUR HEATING SYSTEMS
- Schedule service for your heating
Find out what maintenance is required to keep your
heating system operating efficiently.
- Furnaces: Replace your furnace filter once a
month or as needed.
Find out more about maintaining your furnace
- Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the
flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the
appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure
that your home is heated efficiently.
REDUCE HEAT LOSS FROM THE FIREPLACE
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire
is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping
a window wide open during the winter; it allows
warm air to go right up the chimney.
- When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by
opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if
provided) or open the nearest window slightly --
approximately 1 inch -- and close doors leading
into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to
between 50° and 55°F.
- If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal
the chimney flue.
- If you do use the fireplace, install tempered
glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that
blows warmed air back into the room.
- Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and
make it as snug as possible.
- Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to
draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate
warm air back into the room.
- Add caulking around the fireplace
LOWER YOUR WATER HEATING COSTS
Water heating can account for 14% to 25% of the
energy consumed in your home.
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater
to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save
energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
LOWER YOUR HOLIDAY LIGHTING COSTS
- Use light-emitting diode -- or "LED"
-- holiday light strings to reduce the cost of
decorating your home for the winter
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