When the winter winds start to blow, home owners everywhere want to know how to stay comfortable while reducing home energy usage and costs. The good news is, there are several ways to save on your utility usage and costs in fall and winter. Work through these tips to lower your bills today.
Quick Fixes to Reduce Energy Usage
Have your heating system serviced - Annual servicing of your home heating system helps the furnace to operate most efficiently. This is a simple way to save energy and make sure that your furnace is in good shape for the winter.
Use a programmable thermostat - If you have ever fallen asleep and forgotten to turn down the thermostat, you know how it easy it can be to waste energy in winter. Get a programmable thermostat, which automatically adjust the heat based on time and temperature settings you choose. This is a simple way to save. Energy.gov recommend turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees when you are away from home to save 10 percent on utility bills.
Open the curtains - On sunny days, open the curtains to allow solar heat to passively warm your home. At night, shut the curtains to block cold air. This passive home heating method naturally reduces energy use.
Use an electric heater - If you gather in the living room at night, use an electric heater to heat that room instead of turning up the thermostat. This does increase electric usage, but offsets home heating costs. Why pay to heat the whole house if everyone is in one room?
Home Projects that Decrease Energy Usage
To save even more money, spend the weekend tackling these home improvement projects:
Add weatherstripping - Weatherstripping around doors blocks cold air from entering. Add weatherstripping or replace worn weatherstripping around door frames.
Seal holes in exterior walls - Where pipes leave the home, you often see gaps that were poorly caulked. Apply an expanding foam sealing to not only reduce air leaks, but keep out mice and bugs.
Cover windows with plastic film - Plastic film adds another layer of protection from drafty windows. Windows can account for as much as 25 percent of home heat loss, so insulating these will have an immediate impact on your comfort and energy costs.
Taken together, these small actions add up to a big reduction in your energy usage. As you start saving money every month, you can put it aside and invest in smart home improvements that further reduce your energy usage. You can feel good about your green habits and extra cash flow.
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