by Jenni Barnett
on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 at 8:02am.
With fall just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to give your home an energy efficiency assessment. Are you setting yourself up to save money in the coming chilly months, or will you need to pay through the nose again this year?
If you want to make sure your home won’t take a chunk of your holiday cash, check out our surefire tips to ensure that you and yours are warm, toasty, and energy-savvy this fall and winter.
Adjust the Temperature
Heating your home makes up a large portion of your energy consumption. At night, wear warm pajamas, socks, and layer blankets on your bed to stay warm.
By installing a programmable thermostat and setting it to run 10° – 15° cooler on cold nights and back up to warm up the house in the morning, you could save 10% per year on your energy bills.
Bump your thermostat down manually when you leave the house to run errands, and program your thermostat to stay chilly if you’re away on vacation.
Turn Down the Water Heater
Keep your water heater set at warm, or 120°. Not only will you save money by doing so, but this safe setting will also prevent accidental scalding.
Insulate your water heater and the surrounding pipes for additional savings, and research energy-saving types of water heaters so that you’ll be prepared to make an informed purchase if your water heater quits on you in mid-January.
Take Advantage of the Sun
Open your curtains on south-facing windows when the sun is shining during the day to allow your house to absorb warmth from the sun’s rays. In the afternoon or evening, when the sunlight begins to fade, close your curtains to keep the heat from escaping through the cold windows.
Find and Seal Leaks
Every year, take time to check the weather stripping on the bottom of your exterior doors, the seals around your windows, and all outlets in your home’s exterior walls for cracks and leaks. Close your chimney’s flue when you aren’t using the fireplace. Ideally, you’d have time to repair breaches in your home’s insulation as well, though this is labor-intensive and messy and is best done in the spring.
Change Air Filters
We should all check and change out our home air filters regularly, so this coming season change is a great reminder to do so. Over just a few months, home air filters normally become clogged with dirt and dander. Changing them out gives your home’s air quality a boost, and your central air system won’t have to work nearly as hard, which means energy savings for you.
Use LED Holiday Lights
Depending on how seriously you take the neighborhood decorating contests, swapping old-fashioned strands for energy-saving LEDs could save you hundreds of dollars on your energy bills every holiday season. The newer LED strands are brighter, more affordable, and available in a wide variety of colors and configurations.
Changing to LED lights has the potential to make a huge difference if homes across the country make the change in the next decade; the sooner you switch, the more you’ll save.