The following tips from www.energy.gov will save money and energy while helping you stay comfortable during the fall and winter months. Many of these tips can be used daily 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 determine where to save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings.
Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun
- Open curtains on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat the home, and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
- Plant deciduous trees on the south-facing side of the home, especially in proximity to windows. They will let the light and warmth in the windows during the winter and shade the windows in the summer.
Cover Drafty Windows
- Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of 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 weatherizing.
Adjust the Temperature
- When you are home and awake, set the thermostat as low as is comfortable.
- When you are asleep or out of the house, turn the thermostat back to save as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
- But make sure the temperature is comfortable for pets!
- If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.
Find and Seal Leaks
- Seal air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes (plumbing penetrations), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
- Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
Maintain Your Heating Systems
- Schedule routine service for home heating systems.
- Replace furnace and heat pump filters once a month or as needed.
- Regularly clean the flue vent of wood and pellet burning heaters and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that it is heating efficiently.
Lower Water Heating Costs
- Keep the temperature of the water heater to the warm setting (120 F). This will not only save energy, but it will also help avoid scalding.
Lower Holiday Lighting Costs
- Use light-emitting diode — or LED — holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating the home for the winter holidays.
For more tips and information on how to request an energy inquiry, visit our website at www.tcec.coop/save.