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Winter Energy Savings

 
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'Tis the Season to Save on Energy Costs

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We’re in the midst of autumn and getting closer and closer to the holiday season. As the weeks progress, so do the temperatures—downward. This is the time of year we think about staying warm while keeping our energy costs affordable. Here are some suggestions to do just that:

 

1.     Embrace any and all sunlight

The earth’s furnace since the beginning of time, take advantage of sunlight on the days it’s available this winter. Keeping your curtains or blinds on south-facing windows open during the day will bring in the most sunlight, in turn creating a natural source of heat to help warm your home and cut energy costs. Make sure to close your curtains and blinds in the evening to ensure the heat stays in and doesn’t seep back out through cold windows.

 

2.     Locate drafts and block them

Identifying gaps around doors and windows before the winter months begin could save you money in energy costs and lead to your home being heated more efficiently. The drafts that come through these gaps force your furnace to work harder and make your utility bills more expensive. Look into purchasing or making draft stoppers and/or apply self-adhesive weather stripping to doors and placing plastic film over your windows.

 

3.     Add moisture to the air

The advantage of moist air is that it holds heat better. If more heat is held in the air, your furnace will run less and save you money in the long run. To create moisture in the air, think about getting a humidifier, place a pan of water near your radiator, or keep the exhaust fan off after a hot shower to help your home-heating efforts.

 

4.     Keep water temperature down

This might seem like a no-no in the winter months. We all love a hot shower after getting out from under warm blankets in the morning. But lowering your water heater’s temperature to the “warm” or “normal” (120 degrees) setting will cut back the energy used to heat water in your house.

 

5.     Turn down the thermostat

The temperatures are getting lower and your furnace will be turned on soon, if it’s not already. With that annual process, comes increased energy costs. We are looking for ways to stay warm and keep it affordable. When you’re not home during the day, consider lowering the thermostat setting by 10-15 degrees. Even a few degrees difference will help you in cutting costs. When you finally arrive home and it’s time to turn the temperature up, try setting it as low as comfortably possible for you and wear layers or get under blanket to create extra free heat for yourself.