With summer behind us, it’s time to focus on the new season and what you can do to save as much money as possible by changing some of your energy habits. To get you started, we’ve outlined some fall and winter energy-saving tips that we find especially helpful.
Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips
- Get a tune-up — Once a year, you should schedule a tune-up of your furnace by a qualified professional. This will improve its efficiency throughout the colder months ahead, which will lower your energy usage.
- Consider a new furnace — Your furnace can’t last forever. If it’s no longer operating at an acceptable level, it might be time to consider a replacement. The good news is that recent models are much more energy-efficient than their predecessors. Take advantage of this by looking for the Energy Star level.
- Use surge protectors — Did you know that many of the devices we use on a daily basis such as cell phone chargers and laptops continue to use power even when they’ve been switched off? A great way to counteract this is to plug a group of electronic items into a surge protector and then turn the entire unit off when they’re not in use. This will cut off all power being used by the devices.
- Seal cracks and gaps — There are several places around your home where you may have air leakage. Sealing these areas will help improve the efficiency of your heating system. Around the edges of your doors and windows is one common area that you can fix with caulk or weatherstripping. This is one of the best fall and winter energy-saving tips to focus on if you want to lower your energy usage.
- Purchase energy-efficient bulbs — The new energy-efficient light bulbs on the market today — such as CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LEDs (light-emitting diodes) — use only a fraction of the power needed by incandescent bulbs. And with several different sizes and styles to choose from, there’s really no reason not to make the switch.
- Pay attention to your water heater — First of all, running your water heater at its highest temperature setting will do nothing but increase your chances of getting scalded. Turn the system down to its medium setting and you’ll never know the difference. Second, insulate your water heater by wrapping a blanket around it. This will improve its efficiency.
- Open the shades on your south-facing windows — Sunlight coming through south-facing windows can help lower the use of your furnace by supplying natural heat. Just be sure to close them at night.
- Add some insulation — If your attic, basement, or exterior walls don’t have proper insulation, heat will leak out of your home, causing your furnace to work harder than it needs to. If you’re not confident about deciding on the proper amount of insulation yourself, there’s no shame in contacting a professional.
- Use a humidifier — If you use a humidifier in your home, you’ll be able to lower the temperature on your thermostat without sacrificing comfort.
- Set your thermostat to 68 — Speaking of thermostats, you should try to set it at 68 in order to keep your heating costs under control.
- Install a new thermostat — And don’t forget that manual thermostats are outdated. If your home still has one, now’s a great time to upgrade to a programmable model, which allows you to indicate when your heating equipment switches on and off. You can also upgrade to a Wi-Fi model, which can be accessed remotely through an Internet or Wi-Fi connection.
- Load up your dishwasher — To save on water and the energy needed to heat it, only run your dishwasher when you have a full load.
- Load up your washing machine — Same goes for your washing machine. Whenever possible, wait until you have a full load ready to go before washing your clothes.
- Take short showers — This is another great way to save water and energy. While we all love the feel of a hot shower when the days and nights get cold, you should cut your showering time to five minutes or less.
- Consider alternative sources — No list of fall and winter energy-saving tips would be complete without a plug for the planet. Geothermal systems and solar panel setups offer a great way to save energy and money by “going green.”
For more expert fall and winter energy-saving tips or any other concerns related to home comfort, be sure to contact the friendly professionals at Custom Mechanical. We’ve been serving the coastal communities of Delaware and Maryland since 1981.
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