Conserve Energy to Keep Costs Down

Winter is coming, and as the temperature outside slowly drops, the heat inside our homes gets turned up. In fact, almost half of the average home’s energy consumption is used for heating. As such, it’s important to conserve energy whenever we can. Conserving energy not only helps the planet, it saves money! Consider implementing one of the strategies below to get you started:

  • Take advantage of heat from the sun. Open the blinds or curtains on south-facing windows to let the sun shine in. Remember to close them at night to minimize chill.
  • Cover drafty windows. About one-third of a typical home’s heat loss occurs through doors and windows. Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of window frames. Check that the plastic is sealed tightly to reduce air leaks.
  • Adjust the temperature. Contrary to popular belief, it takes more energy to keep a home warm than it does to warm it back up. Lower your thermostat 10 degrees while out for the day to save roughly 10% on your energy bill. Keep the temperature as low as is comfortable when you are home. You can always put on a sweater or long-sleeved shirt.
  • Find and seal leaks. You can save 10% or more on your energy bill by sealing the air leaks in your home. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks around windows and doors. Also, check for air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes, gaps around chimneys and recessed ceiling lights, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
  • Maintain your heating system. Replace your furnace filter once a month (or as recommended), since furnaces have to work harder to draw air through dirty filters. Before each winter, schedule service for your heating system.
  • Lower your water heating costs. Insulate your water heater. Keeping your water heater insulated will reduce your heat losses by 25 to 40% and reduce costs by 10%. Try turning the temperature of the water heater down to the warm setting (120 degrees Fahrenheit). Also, take shorter showers.

If we each practice just one of these tips, together we can create a healthier environment and keep more dollars in our pocket!

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