Tips For Success: How To Conserve Energy In The Fall And Winter
If you want to conserve energy and save a little bit of money at the same time, the tips included in this article are for you. Some of them will cost you absolutely nothing and can be used over and over again to maximize your savings. Others may cost a little but give you a lot in return.
Your first step should be to go through an energy audit to determine how you can save. You can think through whether you'd like to invest in your savings or not. Of course, no matter what, you can utilize the tips included here that will cost you little or no money.
Use The Sun
You can warm your house with the help of the sun. All you need to do is implement a few simple tips. First, determine which of your windows face the south. During the day, raise your blinds on these windows so that light can flood into your home. At night, make sure the windows are sealed tightly so that no heat escapes.
Seal Up Windows
Take a plastic sheet, one that is made to withstand a bit of handling, and tape it inside the window frames. This will help keep out the cold as long as the plastic is put inside the frame well. Also, consider putting up heavy drapes or shades that also keep drafts out.
Dial Down Your Thermostat
No one wants to be cold in the winter. However, figure out what you can make work and turn down the temperature in your home as low as you can without being uncomfortable. If you plan to leave on vacation, set your thermostat back ten degrees so that you aren't wasting heat when you aren't even at home. You can also do this at night. Smart thermostats can make this process a breeze. This tip also applies to your heat pump as well. Many people don't realize that there are programmable thermostats made for heat pumps.
Take Care Of Leaks
Air leaks can cause you to waste a lot of energy. Research and figure out if you have an air leak. If you find an issue, look into sealing the area so that the problem is solved. Both weatherstripping and caulk should do the trick, although it is important to learn how to use the materials. If you don't do the job right, it won't help you at all.
Make sure your heating system is looked after year round. Set up a maintenance program, so that a professional comes to take a look at the system at least once per year. Make sure to change out your filters. Do any tasks that are necessary to keep the system working well; for example, if you have a wood-burning heater, make sure to clean out the flue vent every so often. Depending on your particular system, there may be other tasks required as well, so it is important to look into this.
Pay Attention To Fireplace Efficiency
The damper should be closed whenever the fireplace is not in use. When you leave it open, you let warm air escape through the chimney. When the fireplace is working, you can help keep the heat in by cracking open a window that is close by and keep the doors closed. When you do this, make sure you also turn your thermostat down to the low 50s.
Seal off your chimney flue if you don't intend to use the fireplace. If the fireplace is important to you, there are a number of things you can do to improve its efficiency. For example, buying C-shaped metal tube grates can pull the cooler air from the room into the fireplace and then push hot air back into the living space.
Cut Back On Your Water Bill
Set your water heater to "warm," which is approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Doing so serves two purposes; it cuts back on your energy bill and it also keeps you from accidentally burning yourself.
Be Reasonable At The Holidays
If you plan to decorate for the holidays, look for LED light strings to put up around your house. There are also ENERGY STAR light strings on the market, and these can be helpful as well.