Looking for ways to save money on your energy bill? We-Energies has a list of inexpensive ways to help keep your home warmer and more energy efficient in the cold months of the year.
Use shades, blinds and drapes to help with heating and cooling. Open them during the day to gain the sun’s heat and in the cooler months, close them at night. Make it a habit every day.
Adjust your thermostat when you are asleep or away from home. You can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer. Recommended thermostat settings when you are home are 68 degrees F in winter and 78 degrees F in summer.
Leave thermostat’s fan switch on “auto” so the fan only runs when the furnace runs. Setting the fan to “on” causes it to run all the time, whether or not heating is needed.
Turn thermostat down to 55 F when using a fireplace. Older, wood-burning fireplaces tend to be inefficient and can be costly, drawing more heated air out of your home through the chimney than a fire can produce. So, turn the thermostat down when you cozy up in front of the fire. After the smoldering embers are out, close the flue damper to keep warm air in the house.
Seal cracks and gaps around windows, doors and siding with caulk and weather stripping. This prevents loss of heated or cooled air and improves the comfort of your home.
Use fans to push warm air down. Make sure to reverse the direction of your fans from the way they were going during the summer months.
Install a programmable thermostat for your comfort and convenience. It can adjust the heat or air conditioning for times you typically are away (when you go to work) and again for times you typically are home. You also can program it to turn the heat down when you go to sleep and turn it back up before you wake up in the morning. It adjusts automatically, so you don’t have to remember to do it.
Schedule regular tune-ups for your furnace and air conditioner. Seasonal maintenance keeps equipment running safely and efficiently, and saves money in the long run.
More ways to save
If you just look at energy savings, window replacement should be your lowest priority, since replacing windows involves a large investment. However, if you are getting new windows for other reasons – appearance, condensation, comfort – look for Energy Star qualified windows.
Consider switching to natural gas. Compared to other traditional energy sources, natural gas is the least expensive way to heat your home and water, dry your laundry and cook your food.