Energy-Saving Tips for Colder Weather


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The transition from summer to fall is the perfect time to make sure your home is ready for the coming change in weather. Ensuring your home can handle the cold season efficiently will reduce your utility bills so you can save money for the holidays. Inspect/adjust your heating systems Your heating system should be serviced every year to keep it working efficiently. Consider replacing your thermostat with a programmable one for even more savings. As the weather starts to cool, set your thermostat no higher than 68 degrees when you are home and the water heater no higher than 120 degrees. Furnace filters should be replaced monthly once you start using it on a regular basis. Be window wise As much as 25 percent of your home’s heat can escape through your windows. The first thing to do after summer is remove and store any window air conditioners. If they can’t be removed, cover them both inside and outside to keep cold air out. Use weatherstripping, caulking products, heat-shrink plastic sheeting, reflective window films, storm window kits and insulated drapes to make sure your windows and doors are as draft-proof and energy efficient as possible. Bundle up your home Besides sealing and covering up your windows, there are other things you can do to keep your home insulated from the outdoors. These include installing draft blockers for light switches and electrical outlets; using heat reflectors that fit behind radiators; and increasing the insulation in your attic, basement, and walls. You can also prevent warm air from escaping outside by closing off unused vents and closing the fireplace damper when not in use. Lighten your energy load As the days get shorter, your lights will probably be turned on for more hours of the day. To use less energy to light your house, replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, which last longer and use 75 percent less energy. Other small things you can do to save money on lighting include cleaning lighting fixtures and repainting walls. These efforts allow you to have a brighter home with fewer lights turned on.

Will Opening Windows Save Money on Heating and Cooling?




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As the fall season approaches, it might be a good time to take advantage of the bearable temperatures outside to save some money on heating and cooling your home. Depending on where you live, fall can mean warm days and cool nights. This also happens to be the temperature pattern most people desire for their indoor living quarters. Keeping your windows open this fall might save you some money on the energy bill, but consider some things first. What is the temperature at night and day? Make note of this for at least three days so you can get an average temperature. If it seems too hot during the day, keep your windows and curtains closed to keep your home comfortable. Do you live in a humid climate? If so, you’ll want to watch how long you keep your windows open. Bringing humidity into your house can make it seem hotter than it really is, aside from providing a home for bacteria and mold growth. If no one is home during the day, perhaps that’s not your concern. The night however, is a good time for the house to be a little cooler. Does the outside temperature cater to that? If so, don’t be afraid to open a few windows, and close them before you leave the next day. If the temperatures outside don’t fit your liking, it might be too early. Keep your eye on the numbers to see when you can take advantage of the outdoor temperatures so you can give your air conditioner a break just before you have to crank up the furnace. Even if it’s just for a few days you’ll see the difference on your electric bill.